AfterDawn: Tech news

CD sales down more than 15% in 2007

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 29 Dec 2007 18:14 User comments (22)

CD sales down more than 15% in 2007 In a continuation of the all too familiar trend of the last few years, the CD industry saw more huge declines in sales during 2007. In addition to the expected sales drop during the rest of the year, Christmas sales were an abysmal 20% lower than last year during the weeks leading up to Christmas. Sales for the entire year were down 15.3%.
In addition to other factors, including reduced shelf space for CDs in many stores, the drop is being attributed to poor weather and a lack of hit albums during the Christmas buying season. "It just makes things worse in one of those already bad holiday selling seasons," says Rob Perkins, president of Marietta, Ga., chain Value Music.

"Unless we get some innovation put into physical music," Value Music's Perkins says, "we will see a continuing of this bad sales trend." Music executives are already forecasting another drop in sales next year, which could be aggravated by retailers continuing reclaim valuable shelf space by reducing the amount devoted to CDs.

Source: Reuters

Previous Next  

22 user comments

130.12.2007 0:40

well funny, i still buy all my cds and i know alot of people do too. i like that they are including dvds with cds with making of and extras, keep doing that and i'll keep buying them.

230.12.2007 1:24

downloading from the enternet is killing the music industry, your right, the DVD`s with the CD`s is great. so the music industry needs to do what the movie industry is doing, release their music as music videos in the theaters first, then release them for sale to the public

330.12.2007 3:39

yea I'd prefer a good music video or two before a movie than most of the crappy movie trailers they show!!
I'm surprised they didn't blame lack of sales on Halo or something

430.12.2007 5:32

Its time to put the CD to rest. Every week new cell phones, mp3 players, car stereo's, and the like are being released. CD sales are down because few people want or need their music on CDs any more. I can't even remember the last time I bought a CD and really have no wish to ever buy another one again. The music industry dropped the ball a long time ago. If they had been the ones to have come out with iTunes and the iPod I don't think you would even be able to buy a CD these days. But the greedy bastards keep trying to push a three decade old technology on us that we don't want or need any more. No I don't pirate music! I subscribe to Yahoo Music Service to get access to the music I want. Now with DRM free music being offered I might just start buying the songs I can't listen too on Yahoo.

Good riddance and rest in peace CDs.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Dec 2007 @ 5:34

530.12.2007 12:39

CD's are too expensive when they first come out. I usually wait until the hype for the new release dies down and then buy the disc at a cheaper price. Or, I buy it used whenever possible: I doubt that the used sales are included in the industries statistics, producing false results.

630.12.2007 16:43

This is to be expected. The music industry is in a transition period and we have gone even more digital.

CD sales go down but digital downloads and purchases are on the rise i would say.

730.12.2007 17:27

Downloads hurting the industry? so what? if the music industry looses revenue and goes under do you think creativity would stop? hell no, people would be free from this giant, and a new form of getting and Making music will emerge. So I'm all for putting the industry down.

830.12.2007 22:19

I was going to purchase the new Neil Simon CD as a Christmas gift to my self. I think it had two new tunes on it. That really sucks!

Even if the they beat the pirates to death it will not save them. They will go by the way of the Doe Doe Bird. They have just about bleed they industry to death.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 31 Dec 2007 @ 6:31

931.12.2007 6:13

Mr.CD you still arn't dead yet lol hmmm It's time Mr.CD kicked the bucket.

1031.12.2007 8:02

So I guess I can conclude that some of these companies that sell music cd's are pretty dumb. Its like new technology on any computer. After a while the technology changes but the use of the product stays the same. Start coming up with better ideas to sell music itself like having pay for download kiosk in stores along side cd's. Lots of thing are ultimately up to the consumer to purchase. Bullshit cop outs like saying the internet and piracy are killing the recording industry are not true. Give the consumer something worth buying and the consumer will buy it. That is something that has not changed for thousands of years. Realistically lots of music put out on the shelves now days is garbage anyways. I wouldn't pay a dime for it. Alternatively I've turned to purchasing older rock and roll among others. The choice is always ours.

1131.12.2007 8:48

Welcome to the digital world, cd's.

Sales are going to fluctuate with the increase in downloads, whether legal or otherwise.

It doesn't mean they're done or dead, just not quite as alive or healthy as they once were.

1231.12.2007 9:13

Yes, they are stupid. Blinded by greed. They still are holding out for vast riches hoping every one will spend 30K to fill up their MP3 players. As it that is even reasonable! They are still hoping to make a billion dollars this comming year on a tune they paid an artist 10K for the rights 50 years ago. They hope no one will figure that they are being ripped off paying $1 for something they sold for $.25 40 years ago and have made back their investment a million fold.

They could get rich selling tunes for $.10. However, they figure that they would be losing $.90. Itunes and Zune have record sales Zune was up 600%. Itunes was the top internet retail site this Xmass. Just think of the business they would do if the price was right! They ought to try selling the tunes for 10 cents for a day just to test the waters. Again, that would require a brain. They should really be selling high quality no DRM tunes for 10 cents even if you had to buy 1000 at a time. I bet you would make a cool billion with a B if you allowed people to buy credit for 1000 tunes for 100 bucks on Black Friday next year. They could limit the sale to CDs that were 3 years old or older not to undercut the stores. You would have to let the word out a few months in advance. You should be able to transfer the credit to other accounts for gifts.

Only people with no money and no friends or nice parents would be pirating music. As a parent, I would be happy to give my kids a few hundred tune credit to keep them legal.

1331.12.2007 9:13

cd's are a waste of resources i mean and time

1-Use your mp3 player attached to your car or on the go

2-takes less than 3 minutes to download a disc from itunes or p2p then burn it and u have it on your car it took less than 5

cuz honestly when u buy artist a cd u also want to listen artist b, listengin the all disc from artist a is boring that's why u could burn one cd instead of wasting 2 oe 3 or even more.

buying cd;s as i said it's a waste

1431.12.2007 9:14

sorry double

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 31 Dec 2007 @ 9:15

1531.12.2007 12:31

This has to be a first there's no mention of piracy being the cause for the

1631.12.2007 20:25

CD's are dead? That's news to me. Why would anyone pay money for a song in a lossy format such as mp3? You're paying a premium for a watered down version. I can see purchasing and downloading music online if it were available in a lossless format such as FLAC.

The only thing wrong with the music industry is the crappy music they are putting out these days. The music industry never had a problem making a profit in the "old" days of more expensive analog technology. The music of the last 10 years doesn't compare to the music of the 70's and 80's. Just look which groups are the biggest concert draws. It's the old dinosaur bands of the late 70's and 80's.

I'll take my music on CD over mp3 anyday. If my CD-R goes bad with my mp3, I can make another. If your hard drive crashes and your not up to date with your back ups, then you lose your crappy mp3 version of the music you paid for online.

Long live the CD!

173.1.2008 17:36

the cd should never lose to the mp3 - mp3s are not the answer! the reason cd sales are down is because no one cares about the quality of their music any more. people need re-discover music and how much better it is without all they do to turn it into mp3s and ruin it. the convenience of mp3s isn't worth the loss of the music.

184.1.2008 8:39

Flickchik, berndu you are sounding a great deal like Analog Junkies. Analog junkes want the most data possible. Some do not even like CDs because there is much less data in a CD then on vinyl. There is a flaw in their reasoning because the human ear can only pick up so much and the brain can only process so much.

The human brain can only process 12 frames a second so movies display 16 frames a second. We canít tell the difference between 16 f/sec and 100 f/sec. For what ever reason Analog junkies want the 100 f/sec. even though they can only process 12. If they actually could process the 100 frames then they would just be demanding.

I will not go into great detail, but science knows what the human ear can pick up. We know that there are tones out side our hearing range, especially on the base side somehow adds to the music experience. So quality music has some tones out side our hearing.

All MP3s are not the same. Robert Levine of the Rolling Stone article sounds like an Audio Junkie to me. His criticism was too general to be valid. Either he is not the expert he pretends to be or he did not want the truth to get in the way of the point he wanted to make.

MP3s of a constant bit rate of 320 or variable bit rates at the extreme setting are supposed to sound the same as the source by the human ear. Those settings were made to capture the limits of the human hearing. They lose a great deal of information over the source but humans can not hear the difference. Most of the data on a CD is dedicated to music above the human hearing range. High notes have tens of thousands of times data and the sample rates must be double the frequency rate to accurately capture the tones. The more sophisticated MP3 compressions also remove tones you can not hear because a louder tone drowns it out.

There is a huge difference in size between a MP3 VRB in extreme mode and a FLAC file but audio experts canít tell the difference even when played on extreme HiFi equipment which few people have. Most of the minute differences can not be reproduced by most HiFi systems. Many of your figure because you paid a grand or two for your sterio, you have an extream sterio. I have a low-end extreme HiFi which you could not touch for 10K today. The power needed to drive sub woofers capable of 4 Hz would boggle your mind! My poweramp weighs about 70 pounds due to the transformers needed to cleanly transform the kilowatts of power to drive the speakers.

194.1.2008 11:49

i'm afraid you'll have to go into more detail to convince me. if the sound files are decreased by 90% to convert them to mp3s, there has to be at least some loss to the range that we can hear. i'll admit that if done right mp3s are not the uber-villain, but most people don't. they download at whatever setting itunes is automatically set to. i couldn't find it in the online article, but in the magazine it gave settings to increase the performance of your mp3s.

beside the sound quality there are other reasons to reject mp3s. going digital takes away from the experience - i love going into record stores, browsing through all the cds, listening to the music and the conversations about music, and finally taking home something that's real. it's almost like digital music doesn't even exist. even ignoring the sound quality, i have a hard time getting to love my downloaded music as much as my cds. you can't touch them, you can't hold them, you can't read the lyrics along with the music. it just takes away from the whole experience. and since most people don't seem to feel this way, they avoid the record stores, which makes them close, which means i can't do this anymore. won't someone think of me before they make this happen :) ?

204.1.2008 14:38

If you like to go to the store enjoy. Actually, most of my mp3s come from vinyl or CDs. You can not purchase good quality mp3s at itunes etc. Plus you always have the master as a back up. They may also be cheaper unless you only want one or two tunes off the CD. The best part is your masters donít get used and the MP3s are so portable.

Audio science is fairly deep and you need to understand audio recording technology before you can understand how to compress it. Here are some key words you can Google to find heavy duty audio information. Fletcher-Munson and Nyquist theorem, for compression Fraunhofer, GPSYCHO modeling and psychoacoustic modeling. However, all the science in the world is not as impressive as just listening for your self. I just converted someone from ripping lossless to ripping with VBR extreme mode. They are so much more convienent to store and use.

At 90% compression you will probably have major quality loss if the music has any kind of complexity. However, I DO compress audio tapes that hard and I can not tell the difference. Rock and Roll can usually compress to 25% with out being able to hear the difference. Classical with natural compresses less than that. VBR compression in the extreme mode will vary the compression depending on the complexity of the sound. A minute of silence can be massively compressed. The normal mp3 bought at itunes is 125 BR. I can tell the difference between that and a high quality mp3 on my ipod with good ear buds but you have to listen carefully and more easily on a HiFi. The buds make a huge difference. If you are a serious listener you need to dump the ear buds you get with your player. Mine with a range of 10-20,000 goes well beyond normal human hearing range. Young persons that donít listen to loud music may hear higher than that but I canít.

If you like to see lyrics try ĎEvil Lyricsí plug-in for your audio manager. It searches the internet for your lyrics when you play a tune. Less than half the vinyl and CDs have lyrics included.

By converting to high quality MP3s you can put your music on tiny players and take your music anywhere. Yes, you can use a portable CD player but one you try an ipod etc you will never go back. My car stereo has an mp3 CD player. I prefer that to my iPod. A normal CD formatted to the MP3 CD format holds more than 10 hrs of tunes.

The new audio world is great you ought to get your feet wet.

214.1.2008 21:45

i have tried the new audio world, thanks. i even have an ipod and everything (and yes, the earbuds were garbage - i threw them out after one use). and i think you're doing the mp3 thing exactly right - ripped from the cd. you are not at all the problem here (thankyou!). the issue at hand here, however, isn't whether or not the compression is ruining music - the issue is how it's affecting cd sales.
people willing to accept the lower-quality mp3s from itunes will download the lower-quality mp3s from itunes (and you did admit that the itunes mp3s were low-quality). unfortunately, itunes is growing into the role of the dominant music source and taking listeners away from the record store, which will cause these stores to close. granted, this isn't the only reason sales are down, but it's the reason i like to blame the most.
i'll deffinitely have to look into those things you mentioned concerning compression and audio recording technology. while i usually respect what rolling stone has to say, its articles often don't go into enough detail for me, and i'd really like to know more about this. thanks for those suggestions.
also, your suggestion to get my lyrics from the evil lyrics plug in would be okay, except it doesn't fulfill my something-tangible-in-music requirement.

224.1.2008 23:13

Actually, I probably am the problem. Most of my library came from captured vinyl of which I have a few thousand. No I did not buy them all. However, I had a town house early and when my friend had to clear out of their parents house into apartments their large vinyl libraries did not fit. I was the repository. The vinyl finally went to the garage when I moved to a bigger house and I bought CDs. This century I have been ripping and capturing. I buy little new. If it is it has been heavily discounted. Now I am buying vinyl again. I know where I can buy them for a buck a piece. So I am part of the problem.

While I will admit that the itunes 125 BR is poor and I can here the difference, there is not much difference. You can only here that if all your other equipment is good enough to produce the extra quality.

I will give you some ball park qualities to make a point. Land phone lines have about a 40 BR, AM radio is about 50, FM is about 70 HD radio is almost 100, 125 is the standard bit rate 320 is good enough to fool the human hear to sound like a CD. I can't remember what the CD BR is but it is way bigger than 640 maybe more than 1000. They claim HD radio is CD quality. Isn't that a crock. However, music my car stereo which is a fairly good one sounds the same whether it is HD or CD. The point being, most people don't have equipment where you can hear the difference. I believe if you can't hear the difference, why bother. Good stereos which were the norm and affordable 30-40 years ago are ultra expensive and can only be found in specialty stores. If mine dies I can't replace it I will have some modest junk as my HiFi.

Something else you might not know. If you use itunes to sync your ipod it will convert high quality mp3s to ma4s with a bit rate of 125. That may be to dupe the listener into thinking 125 br sound as good as high quality mp3s. Little do they suspect itunes sabotaged their music! If they sound the same why bother with quality? I was surprised to learn the ipod with quality ear buds has more quality than a car stereo that lists for even more than the ipod. I can hear the faint needle hiss from vinyl captures. The hiss is nearly inaudible but even the best systems have some hiss unless you filter it out. The lower bit rates remove more of the higher frequencies like the hiss. At 125 BR the hiss is gone.

As you search for the audio discussions you may come across a heavy duty audio forum. I recognised some of the members being the senior audio programmers for several of my audio tools. If you browse that forum I think you will appreciate their expertise and will believe their comments. I got the concensus that the LAME VBR in the extreme mode with the slow analysis turned on produced a transparent compression. Their say so and the fact that I can hardly tell a 125 from an CD. I am sure I could not hear the difference in something that stores almost 3 times the information.

Comments have been disabled for this article.

Latest user comments

News archive