There’s an ongoing debate within the music industry about the way rising digital sales aren’t making up for the continued slump in physical (i.e CD) sales. So while more people are purchasing music online, overall spending is down.
An interesting side-issue is when digital sales will overtake CD sales, if they continue to increase / decrease at their current rates. Analysts have suggested 2010, but Thomas Hesse, global digital music president at major label Sony BMG, has told the MidemNet industry conference it’ll be earlier than that.
“It’s rapidly going to 50% in the US,” he said. “In ’09, we’re going to be around 50/50 between physical and digital.” The milestone isn’t much comfort to labels worrying how long they can survive in the current climate, mind.
Meanwhile, Hesse also said Sony BMG is right behind schemes like Nokia’s upcoming ‘Comes With Music’ service, which provide people with an unlimited music subscription as part of the price of buying a mobile phone or signing up to broadband internet. “To me that’s the next frontier,” he said.
MidemNet 2008: Sony Ericsson reveals more about PlayNow Arena music service
DRM-free MP3s will boost music download sales, say UK retailers
CES 2008: Wyclef Jean talks Motorola, ringtones, Shakira and… Bob Dylan?