Thursday, July 27, 2006

Music Downloads Worth $1 Billion

In a story about the illegal service Kazaa losing a court battle, this little tidbit was buried. Last year, the LEGAL download music business was worth $1.1 billion worldwide. This baby is just getting started and it's already producing more than $1 billion in sales? And much of that I'd argue is $1 billion in sales they would NOT have had otherwise. It's not just people migrating from CDs to downloads. It's mostly a market in singles that wasn't possible before. I know I've bought the odd song or two that I wanted for a oompilation or just wanted to hear when I would never have bought the entire album. (And no one should buy an entire album on iTunes -- you're much safer if you buy the CD and rip it for use on your iPod. If your computer crashes or you get a new music device, you're screwed if you only owned a digital download.) As always, music downloads are free money that the record labels resisted as long as possible until they were FORCED into servicing a massive demand from their customers. It's survival of the dumbest.

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