MAY 24, 2011 will go down in history as a pivotal landmark for the music industry. Why? It very well could be The Day Amazon Killed Digital Music Sales.
I was so disheartened last week watching the media celebrate Lady Gaga selling 1.1 million albums. Really? Should the 440,000 units that Amazon sold at 99 cents be celebrated as full album sales? The Lady Gaga albums were definitely sold through Amazon and at a much higher price than most realize! Music was once again used as a disposable commodity in order to drive a greater agenda.
Think back ten years when cds were selling by the millions at $16.98. Remember the “loss leader” cd price wars that Wal-Mart and Best Buy instilled on the music industry? At the time, many claimed that Wal-Mart and Best Buy were killing the value of the cd while others praised them for brilliant marketing. What was the actual result? I would encourage you to visit a Wal-Mart or Best Buy store and draw your own conclusion. Be sure to make note of the size of their music departments and the average price of cds.
It saddens me to even think it but I truly believe the next step for music is “free.” While it may take a couple of years to get there, “free” appears to be inevitable. I can’t help but wonder how everyone will enjoy the silence when we finally arrive at “free”…