Two weeks ago a US market research company caused a panic in the music business when it reported sales of MP3s had declined. DRM has all but disappeared from digital music, while music catalogs and retailer choice have grown… and yet the volume of digital song sales fell. Ironically, it’s the major labels’ darling Spotify that’s bearing the sharp end of the backlash.
Two thirds of people don’t download unlicensed music at all, it’s a minority pursuit. But that “honest” mid-market is not only losing the habit of buying CDs, it hasn’t acquired the habit of buying digital songs either. NPD found that between 2007 and 2009, about 24 million Americans stopped paying for music in any form.