Jimmy Barnes ‘Soul Searchin’ is still the no 1 CD in Australia despite slipping to no 3 on the ARIA album chart.
Charts can be deceptive as overall figures take into consideration both physical and digital sales. The physical disc (the trophy sale) tends to indicate the artist with the stronger fan base. The genuine music fan is more likely to demand quality sound over portability.
A survey of 2000 audiophiles by CSR found that 82% rate sound quality as one of the most important features of music consumption and 79% agreed that good audio quality is more important than availability of audio on multiple devices.
The report also found that while there was a rapid evolution in devices to consume music, now that the technology has stabilised and consumers have had years to experience a “jukebox in their pocket” the trend is now going back to quality sound. (Hence the upturn in vinyl sales).
Vinyl sales are now at their greatest since 1995 and real music artists tend to sell a much higher percentage of CD to downloads.
Australia’s current internet infrastructure does not allow mass consumption of high quality audio streaming for the consumer. The failure of the National Broadband Network roll-out by the current Liberal Party government has not provided the much needed platform for quality audio streaming of music consumption now or in the immediate future.
While CD quality streaming is possible, currently streaming companies such as Spotify and Pandora only offer dumbed-down audio sound anyway.
High-Resolution Audio (HRA) is possible via devices like Neil Young’s Pono but storage of large music collections is limited by hard-drive space. Pono also has limited battery life. (The battery would run out halfway across the Pacific on a flight from Australia to the USA).
More than 90% of Jimmy Barnes ‘Soul Searchin’ sales last week were CD while over half of Flume sales and more than two thirds of Drake sales were downloads.
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