Published Sep 27, 2010The times are not a-changin', as a bit of number-crunching regarding the status of legally downloaded music asserts. According to a report by research group Nielsen Media, the growth of digital music sales in the U.S. has remained unmoved for a full year.
Latest statistics indicate that during the first half of 2010, 630 million tracks were downloaded in the United States, the same amount as the same period one year prior. In contrast, The Daily Swarm shares [via a registration-protected Financial Times report] that downloads increased by 13 percent in 2009 and 28 percent in 2008, as compared to their previous figures.
While these amounts are hardly something to balk at, they stand as a stark realization that not only may there be a cap on the number of people willing to purchase music via Internet, but that the market for MP3 consumption may have reached its apex and the sharing of digital media might not be the lifeline record labels have been hoping for since the decline of CD sales started to hit earlier in the decade.
This viewpoint is supported by recognition that even alternate avenues of distribution including song/album streaming are considered less favourable by music fans than companies had hoped, especially as compared to the ease and laxness of ramifications illegal filesharing yields. To that extent, the report indicates that unpaid filesharing has also been largely unaffected.
Digital filesharing as a whole, however, remains highly controversial. Here is one punk band's thoughts on a UK bill dubbed the Digital Economy Act that would punish, "anyone making heavy downloads on the assumption that they are illegally filesharing."