Despite the ‘death of the CD’ stories that technology writers love to constantly regurgitate, the truth is that in Australia they are completely wrong.
Last night, Songland Records owner Brian ‘Frog’ Harris discussed the topic on the ABC with Rod Quinn. In Australia last week, only around 10% of all albums sold were digital.
1,161,931 albums sold in Australia between December 16 and December 22, 2012. Of those, 110,675 were digital. The rest were the good old-fashioned physical CD.
IT writers in Australia have been reporting the death of the CD for more than a year but their facts do not reflect Australia’s buying habits.
In the USA, the figures are different but then the USA doesn’t have what Australia has – the record store. American chains like Virgin and Tower disappeared more-so due to the economic downturn than technology. Their demise as businesses forced American consumers to purchase digital music because the bricks and mortar stores were no longer easy to find.
Australia still has an abundance of music stores, like Songland in Canberra, Pure Pop in Melbourne and Rockinghorse in Brisbane. Australia also has a dominant music chain – JB Hi-Fi. In Australia, you don’t have to travel too far to buy a CD. In America, it is much more difficult.
The breakdown of CD vs Download is not restricted to any particular age-group either.
Last week in Australia Michael Buble Christmas sold 63,860 units. 10,559 of those were digital. Pink ‘The Truth About Love’ sold 27,876 units. Only 2,630 of those were downloads. The compilation ‘So Fresh: The Hits of Summer 2013 + The Best of 2012’ sold 26,911 units. Just 839 were downloads. Rod Stewart ‘Merry Christmas Baby’ sold 23,028 units. 3,741 of those were downloads. Guy Sebastian ‘Armageddon’ sold 22,429 units. 1,129 were downloads. And then there was One Direction. Of the 18,964 units ‘Take Me Home’ sold in Australia last week only 875 were downloads.
It is very cool for IT writers to seem hip with their regular obituaries to the CD. The fact is they are wrong.