It's not CDs that are bad, it's the PRICE
26 years of CD sales and they are STILL £15 for a chart album?!?!?!
The (biggest) reason people are downloading for free is they are sick of lining record company execs pockets.
I personally haven't bought a CD in many years, but I own £1000s worth of them. I got 'fed up' with it, starting making the odd dodgey download and found that, never mind downloading being free, it was a much better way to buy music (AllOfMP3.com, whatever you thought of it, was a great website - enormous choice, great interface, samples available, whatever format you wanted (including lossless), download file management, "you might like" suggestions, genre cross-referencing, peer reviews, etc, etc).
Also, people are sick of increasingly bland, over-hyped music and have started actively
avoiding the marketing machine that is the modern music biz.
Also, you guys posting that CD is a great medium: with an alternative of 128Kb MP3, then yes, it is, but there you are the music biz's monkey, because they *intend* that comparison to be drawn. They know as soon as they start offering the kind of choice and quality that people actually want (lossless download from websites with good library/comparison/search/sampling functionality) that next to noone will want CDs and they are afraid to release their stranglehold on those CD sale profits and are perhaps too lazy to change their ways / business model. They certainly seem to rather inconveniencing (DRM) and even attacking (threatening/suing) their customers to responding to demand.
I'll even help the lazy b@stards out: -
Short term: CDs: Make them £5 for a new album. You may more than triple sales.
Mid term: Develop websites with fabulous library interfaces where folks pay one-off track prices or a monthly (£10? £100 per year?) subscription for unlimited downloads. Make available lossless formats with nice album art and other materials. Make the lossy formats cheaper and DRM free. Make it easy for folks to burn their own CDs for backup.
Long Term: Move on guys! There must be a way to go DRM free for lossless formats and still make money, because, let's face it, you cannot control SOUND.
What is happening to the music business is nothing short of a consumer revolution: a rising up of the discontented masses. Am I saying that to make myself feel better over the copyright theft I may have perpetrated? No. As I said, I have £1000s of CDs. I have more than paid my dues to the industry, in fact I still feel a little taken for a ride, as much as I was a CD collector by choice.
Wow - big post. You know why I'm really so annoyed? Because I used to be a music lover, but the music business have beaten it out of me and then blamed me for it's decline. Bitter? Yeah, quite a bit really. A shame, innit?
Mine's the one with my whole music collection in the pocket any time I want it. (160GB Archos)