Report Says: Downloadable Music Not Responsible For 15% Slump In Music Sales 
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Written by Jerry Del Colliano   
Friday, 16 August 2002 readers don't need a comprehensive study to tell us why CDs aren't selling like they used to in years past. And the cause is certainly not lousy sounding MP3s as the RIAA and some in the music industry would like you to think. Almost 20 years into the lifespan of the Compact Disc, the party is nearing an end. Poor quality, stereo music with very few (if any) added values makes not a worthy $17 purchase when DVD-Video titles, for a few dollars more, come packed with a feature length movie in surround sound and loaded with added value goodies like commentaries, alternate surround sound mixes, nifty games, photos, web links and much more.

Most record execs understand they are watching the Compact Disc as a format, rot on the vine. The Forrester Research's report only goes to prove what they were thinking was right. Forrester goes on to predict, based on the responses of 1000 online music consumers, that downloadable music will make up 2 billion dollars worth of sales for the music industry (a projected 17 percent) by 2007. Right now, according to Forrester, the downloadable music sites that the major labels own now make only a few million dollars.

Forrester also points towards 2005 as the year the record labels all agree on a standard downloadable music agreement. That would be 5 long years after the commercial rise of Napster. Critics say that any solution in 2005 will just be too late. AOL and BMG are leading the pack in development of a real-world commercial downloadable music site but much like the audio format war between DVD-Audio and SACD, without all of the big 5 agreeing to a comprehensive deal (an unprecedented feat historically) complete with fast downloads, higher quality content all at a fair price (not more than say an entry level digital cell phone package or a month of on-line dating), peer-to-peer networks will continue to prosper.

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