Christmas CD Sales are down 20% compared to last year

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 1, 2008
Updated • Dec 10, 2012
Music and Video

Ars Technica are reporting that CD sales this Christmas, that is the period between Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, are down 20% compared to last year which means that 21.4 million CDs have been sold less than the previous year. This looks serious but is it ? We have to take a look at overall earnings to make a fair judgment.

It is not a secret that online sales are on the rise and are highly profitable and that especially the games sector is seeing a huge rise in sales. I unfortunately do not have numbers for the games and movies sector and online music sales but I suspect if you take everything into account it will even out more or less.

The RIAA will surely whine about pirates once again and fail to see the obvious. I can only speak to myself but I did probably buy three or four albums in the last six years. My main reason is that there are not many releases that please my ear. The charts are dominated by one hit wonders and bands that reunite again to make just another album.

I prefer to listen to Internet radio when I work on my computer and would seriously pay a small amount of money for it. I do not purchase music at iTunes or similar stores because I do not like their pricing structure that much. It is to expensive in my opinion.

I prefer to download music from free sites like Jamendo and reward the artists directly. You will be surprised at the quality of some of the releases at Jamendo.

I did buy more DVDs and Games in that time though. I'd say I roughly bought 50 DVDs in the last two years and maybe 30 games. That's where my money is going theses days and I suspect that many users are doing the same.

Did you buy music the last years ? Can you think of other reasons why the sales did drop that much ?


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  1. liquidparallax said on January 4, 2008 at 11:43 am

    I bought a ton of cds used from amazon for super cheap. And is the best for trading cds you don’t want for ones you do.

  2. JC said on January 1, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    I think a major reason is that music is so easily accessible legally online. Within two clicks you can watch a music video of your choice. You also have more competition in terms of digital entertainment. Not to mention a “local record store” has become a dinosaur, instead they’re a section in a megastore like wal-mart that sort of get lost in the shuffle.

  3. D3 said on January 1, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    can’t say that I’ve purchased any cd’s in the past few years but I’ve been spending more money on dvd’s and games for my ps2 console soon to be xbox 360 ;). I find the gouging at the cd store of $15 for 4 songs you like isn’t worth it. as for Itunes , I’d like my digital music a little more flexible.

  4. Martin said on January 1, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Joose sure I can. I normally browse through the shoutcast directory to find stations that I like. Some others that I listen to regularly are Technobase and Digitally Imported:

  5. Joose Haverinen said on January 1, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Hello. Could you share some urls to your favorite internet radios?

  6. Quasimodo said on January 1, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Do you have to eat and drink in order to live ?
    Do you drive a car ?
    Do you like a warm home during winter ?
    Do you produce your own electricity ?

    Depending on your answeres you might or might not have spare money to support criminal organisations like the RIAA.

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