Music sales at lowest level since …

Posted by Rob Walker on June 19, 2008
Posted Under: Music

… 1960?

… 1940?

… the dawn of time?

I don’t know what I would have said, but the answer according to this story is 1985. Global unit sales were 1.8 million billion in 1985, and the “equivalent of” 1.86 billion in 2007.

I’ve always wondered how much the industry’s revenue situation has been exacerbated by the the fact that from 1985 to at least 1998 or so, sales must have been falsely inflated by ever-growing CD sales (both overpriced, and involving a lot of simple format replacement for stuff we already owned). I wonder, if there was a way to remove such sales, how much difference it would make.

Again, I’m not denying the real drops, or factors like rising population (in particular demographic bulge of Gen Y). Just musing.

Note: I know I said I’d get to that Nike follow-up today, but it’s not going to happen. It’s half written, and a little too unwieldy. I’ll get it cleaned up and presentable, and when it’s ready, will post.

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

Reader Comments

Hi Rob, You meant 1.8 “billion” in the first paragraph, yes? Love the site and your NYT column!–DD

Written By Darren on June 19th, 2008 @ 11:00 pm

Darren, indeed I did. Now fixed — Thank you!

Written By Rob Walker on June 20th, 2008 @ 5:56 am


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