Market research firm Forrester Research is prediciting that sales of digitally downloaded music will surpass sales of physical CDs by 2012. The Forrester report, based in part on a survey of more than 5,000 consumers in the US and Canada sees digital downloads growing at a compound annual rate of 23% to $4.8 billion, while CD sales, in steady decline, will be reduced to $3.8 billion. The reasons for their predictions include the following:
- The average MP3 player is only 57% full, suggesting they are underutilized
- With four big music labels committed to eliminating digital rights management (DRM), DRM-free music will extend beyond Amazon.com to Apple iTunes and other online music sites
- DRM-free music enables every profile page on MySpace.com or Facebook to become a music store where friends sell friends their favorite music.
We'll have to wait and see if their predictions come true. Thus far, the music industry as a whole has been resistant to change as technology has changed the way we acquire music. Personally, I think music is an intellectual property and the owner's rights should be respected and I don't mind paying for high quality, high-resolution music from online sites such as iTrax. What's your opinion?