According to a report at Macnewsworld, digital music sales have flattened over the past five months. From May 2004 to May 2005, the digital music market nearly tripled—but only 6.7 million songs were sold per week in October of this year, compared to 6.6 million songs per week in May.
This is an especially troubling development for music industry gurus and digital market enthusiasts who have long predicted exponential growth in the digital music market. Apple iPod sales continue to soar (to date, the company has sold more than 28.2 million), but the average number of yearly downloads per iPod has apparently dropped from 25 to 15 over the past year. Available data now suggests that people are using their digital music players as storage and portability devices, rather than as a reason to re-purchase music they already own.
Personally, I've slowly built a collection of iTunes-purchased music over the past few years, even though I don't own an iPod, but I've never been a CD collector—in my opinion, they scratch too easily. I still think there's tremendous potential in the digital music market, but consumers obviously need an incentive or two to persuade them to jump.
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