In a dramatic acceleration of the seven-year sales decline that has battered the music industry, compact-disc sales for the first three months of this year plunged 20% from a year earlier, the latest sign of the seismic shift in the way consumers acquire music.
At least don’t tell me anymore that file-sharing leads to more music purchases — an argument that never held any water. But let’s deal with the new world. Despite keeping innumerable lawyers in silk undergarments with its sue-every-sophomore litigation approach, the music industry will never put this genie back in the bottle and return us to a time when you had to buy a whole album to get the one good song. Michael Arrington argues that this is good news, because it’s time for a long-overdue swing of the pendulum:
The faster music labels realize their massively profitable days are over, the better it will be for them, as well as the bands they represent and us, their customers. Digital music sales are not going to make up for lost revenue. Suing their customer base is not going to make up for lost revenue. In fact, absolutely nothing is going to make up that lost revenue. The industry, revenue-wise, is going to continue to shrink.
Can he be anything but right?
UPDATE: Instapundit picks up the story.