Friday, June 4, 2010

Falling music sales

Today Billboard magazine reported that U.S. music sales totals for the week ending May 30 were just under 5 million, which is reportedly the lowest since 1994. Compare that to the Xmas 2000 period tally of nearly 45.5 million and the difference in a decade is astounding.

Eroding CD sales, illegal file sharing and the upswing of digital downloads are the culprits. Of course record companies' stubborn refusal to consider lowering CD prices until the last year or two are also to blame. I was at Amoeba Records a couple weeks ago and thought $15 for catalog titles from the latter part of the 2000s was too much.

If this keeps up, even the small minority of us who still cling to the CD as a preferred format choice will have no choice but put up with the compressed inferior sound of music files and lack of decent album art/liner notes.

The fantastic, just released deluxe edition of The Cure's masterpiece "Disintegration," is a perfect example of why we should keep the CD (read more about it in my review here soon).

Speaking of music declines, another indie record store in Riverside has apparently bitten the dust (we're down to two, one of which is part of a chain and not truly indie). The Pops store on Van Buren Blvd. was a new incarnation of Sounds Like... Music across from the Galleria at Tyler when it opened up about three years ago. Without advertising and a poor location, it didn't stand a chance. Very sad.

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