Now that Christmas has come and gone, and my need to hear Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bells Rock" has subsided — I'm not sure but I think it has something to do with those electric guitar flourishes—, it's seems an appropriate time to say something about the continuing and astonishing turmoil in the record business which according to most sources experienced a nearly 20 percent decline in sales of physical product compared with last Christmas.

I was at a holiday party populated by teenagers, who I immediately played reporter on to find what they were listening to and buying. To my surprise, none hated CDs and all said, casually and unprompted by me, that if they could find a CD that was cheaper than the same album in download form on iTunes, they'd have no problems buying it. I was expecting the usual wash of frowns and noise about how the CD was dead and how they live for their iPods. But these kids, several music freaks among them, were completely nonchalant about it. So an eleven track CD for six bucks tops the same record as an eleven dollar download? Price seemed to be the prime driver in this group. They wanted the music and they wanted it in the cheapest possible form. Ah, if only the record business hadn't gouged them into being cynics and then allowed the download genie out of the bottle.

Mike Kelly's picture

Interesting post Robert..There is still certainly alot to be said for owning a physical copy of your music, especially for teens who would consider themselves "music freaks."However, I think that as the record labels and device manufacturers work out the backend compatibility issues and make content more easilly accessbile, people won't be as concerned about owning a physical copy as they will be concerned with having constant and reliable access to their digital content.If you have a minute to send me an email, I'd love to pass along an invite to a demo of some new products at CES this year.Thanks, Mike Kellymichael@nadelphelan.com831-440-2403