It wasn’t too long ago that the music industry was complaining all day long that digital downloads would ruin the music industry. Au contraire! The BPI (sorta like the UK’s RIAA) has just revealed that 2008 was the biggest ever year in Britain for singles. And yes, the industry has digital downloads to thank.
Of course, we’re talking about legal downloads here: iTunes, Amazon MP3, etc. Downloads were up 33 percent last year from the previous, with a total of 115 million files served. Similarly, album downloads were up 65 percent over 2007.
One big reason: the world economy is broken. As such, when people are looking to buy music they want to do so for as little as possible. A couple quid for an album is more attractive than walking/driving/taking a metro to HMV or some other High Street boutique than laying down, um, more quid.
So there, not only have downloads not ruined the music industry, but they’ve saved it. More italics!