A recent report estimates that digital sales will account for 82.6% of all music sold by the year 2013. If that statistic is true, it signals bad news for the physical manufacturing plants in the US (and hits home with my dear friends at ESP in Buffalo, NY, who have done manufacturing for my family for almost 30 years).
As in any business, realism always wins over idealism. And while I’ll be the first to say I’m a fan of holding a physical product in my hands (nothing compares to the old vinyl albums in feel or richness of sound), even I have seen the advantages of digital distribution. Minimal overhead, world-wide access, and speed of delivery are all things that the “old way” can not even touch. And services like NoiseTrade have even helped bridge the gap between would-be thieves and outdated record-company giants (citing that no one wants to pay $21.99 for a CD), by offering a cool compromise to file sharing.
With that said, how much of your “new music” is bought digitally vs. a physical CD? If physical, do you buy it new or used, and from a retail store or an online seller? ch: