05 January 2009

The Earview Mirror

Which would you prefer?  The  ear half empty or the ear half full?

 Digital Media Wire Daily reports that 2008 music sales  reached 1.5 billion units, beating the 2007 total by 10.5%. This data, which encompasses the sales of songs, albums, vinyl, music videos and ringtones comes from Nielsen SoundScan. According to the article, “Sales of physical albums like CDs fell 20%, to 362.6 million, and are off by 45% since 2000. Meanwhile, digital album sales were up 32% in 2008, to 65.8 million units, and digital track sales grew 27% to reach a record 1.07 billion.”

To be fair, in 2008 vinyl gave its best showing  since 1991, the year SoundScan started tracking these numbers. Consumers purchased 1.88 million vinyl albums.

Is all of this good or bad news for magazines? It depends on whether you’re looking through the windshield or the rearview mirror.

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