Atlantic Records: For First time, Digital Outsold CD

We knew this day would happen, and oddly enough, the world is still spinning. Legendary music label, Atlantic Records just reported that digital music revenue has surpassed compact disc sales. Yikes!

Atlantic has said that digital sales, which include downloads from places like iTunes and Amazon.com, plus cellphone ringtones generated more revenue than CD. Atlantic's parent company, Warner Music Group, reported that digital sources only accounted for 27 percent of their American revenue last quarter.

While those numbers might be startling, these from a New York Times story are more sobering . . .

While digital sales are increasing compared to CD sales, overall sales figures for the music industry are declining. Sales were $10.1 billion this year, and Forrester Research analysts are estimating that number to decrease to $9.2 billion. Compare that to the $14.6 billion in 1999.

Looks like legal digital isn't the saviour or destroyer of the music industry that we thought it to be. —Leslie Shapiro

The New York Times

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