NPD Group: CD is Dying Fast

Wow. Just last year, we passed along news from the NPD Group that “about one million consumers stopped buying CDs in 2007.” Well, in 2008 it got much, much worse: “there were nearly 17 million fewer CD buyers in 2008 compared to the prior year.”

More bad news for the industry:

• The decline in CD buyers cuts across all demographic groups, but was particularly focused on teens and consumers age 50 and older.

• There were 13 million fewer music buyers in the U.S. last year, compared to the prior year. The decline in music purchasing was led by a 19 percent drop in CD sales.

• Only 58 percent of Internet users reported purchasing CDs or digital music downloads last year, versus 65 percent in 2007.

The good news:

• The number of Internet users paying for digital music increased by just over 8 million in 2008 to 36 million Internet users.

• Purchases of online digital music downloads increased by 29 percent since last year.

The indifferent news:

• Digital downloads now account for 33 percent of all music tracks purchased in the U.S.

• The percentage of consumers claiming to listen to music on social networks climbed from 15 percent in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2007 to 19 percent in Q4 2008.

• Nearly half of U.S. teens are engaging with music on social networks, which is an increase from 37 percent a year ago; among college-age Internet users, the percentage increased from 30 percent in 2007 to 41 percent in 2008.

2 thoughts on “NPD Group: CD is Dying Fast”

  1. I was at the Union Square Virgin Megastore in Manhattan this afternoon, and while there were tons of discs going for $10, $7, and $5–mostly Sony, btw–I was baffled by the amount of $16.99 CDs on the racks. I mean, really?

  2. i never understood the whole price argument when it came to cd’s. it’s not as though there that overly priced. maybe it’s just me, but i find $16.99 a fair price to pay for a cd. especially if the cd is self-released.

    i don’t even mind paying that much for major label releases. i know that most of that money will never go to the artist, but i still feel i should support them and give them what i can. whether they release the music themselves or on a major/minor label.

    they don’t make much as it is and any help they can get is fine by me. plus i feel i’m getting a little more with a cd than i am with digital downloads. buying a cd is still about the cheapest form of entertainment out there. and if it brings you a lot of joy and happiness then isn’t the $16.99 worth it?

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