There is no doubt that the UK and the world is moving towards digital music downloads over purchasing the actual CD or compact disc album. As a matter of fact, this year marks the spot for the UK where the digital sales have overtaken CD sales. Before CD's there were tapes and records. Each of these options were physically purchased albums in which customers would browse in person and make their selection. Obviously, modern digital options have been available and evolving for quite some time. Now they are available through a variety of different methods over many different platforms, one of the most popular being iTunes. However, as CD's end up going away for the most part a little at a time, then what is everyone sacrificing? What is sacrificed is the creative packaging.
Packaging can be thought of sort of like advertising in one way. The packaging sells to the customers with creative packaging ideas implemented to design the album. This is more than just album art but special editions and so much more. These can be thought of as icons or logos as well, things that resonate with consumers and brand a certain musician or group with its symbols and label. Of course, this is what is risking being compromised, that and all the nostalgia that goes with it every time a music medium enters the past.
When looking at figures for both CD and digital sales, there is more than just surface value. For example, a genre like country music actually still has more CD sales than digital sales. While the overall figure says different, some genres are not the same, which should of course be considered for marketing purposes. Others prefer the CD form due to the quality of the audio, which has long been thought to be much better. And, the people said the same thing when it came to their old vinyl records. Vinyl is widely known to be the best audio quality, and that went into the decision making when it came to developing CD's. Unfortunately, it did not make it to the discussion board when developing tapes, which have barely been mentioned in this article. It should also be noted that while digital sales are overtaking CD sales overall in the markets of different countries, the actual sales of CD's worldwide is still way up there.
Knowing the music is knowing the artist or band. That is why album art and cover is so important. Now, before going too deep into that, it should be noted that many digital music suppliers are making album art available on most albums. Still, it's different sizes and dimensions, and nothing is better than having the actual art in your own hands. You see more details, and it has everything with branding.
Many have complained that music sales have fallen with this trend. It can be looked at many different ways. In some ways, buying songs definitely allow people not have to buy the whole album as they were forced to for the most part in the past. Maybe it cheapens the music industry, or maybe it is revolutionizing it instead. Either way, it must be merged with creative packaging to allow a sort of more seamless transition as digital music overtakes CD sales once and for all and CD sales continue to decline. The number was 21 percent down last year for just a single 12 months stretch in the UK.
Musicians prefer the old album purchasing methods at many times because they see less revenue for their hard work with digital music, again for the most part. And, new musicians find it harder to get their music out there if things are just digital. They like offering free or cheap CD's to people at gigs and local concerts, as well as producers or anyone they meet.
By Geoff Roy
Geoff Roy enjoys writing and curating blogs across a wide range of industry niches. In his spare time, he enjoys quality time with his family, running and swimming, and supping the odd pint of T.E.A. from the Hogsback Brewery.