The digital age has greatly affected the way we now buy music. Years gone by the latest music could be bought on vinyl, cassettes and CDS. Over the last few years, technology has changed the way we listen to, buy and find music. For many years, buying the latest albums would mean a visit to HMV or Virgin Mega store where you could listen to the latest music and then browse from 1000’s of albums. Advancements in technology and music production meant that Vinyl was eventually replaced by the cassette tape which was then later replaced by CDS. High street music shops have always been present but the recent digital revolution in music has seen seen downloading music online increase rapidly and with online downloads now dominating single sales and digital album sales also seeing a major increase.
HMV, for so many years a recognisable high street music buying brand went into administration in 2012 having seen record sales decline for a sixth consecutive year. Other major record stores have seen other major music chains such as Virgin Megastore, Zavvi and Tower records collapse. Buying music online and digital downloads has shown rapid growth and with the continued rise in smart phone usage and the ease of which music can now be accessed online through downloading platforms such as iTunes, buying music albums on CD will continue to decline. There will always be those who still like to buy music on a CD and with online retailers such as Amazon allowing a market place for people to sell CDs for extra cash, there are still those who prefer to buy music the old fashioned way, especially the older generation who have not quite jumped on to the digital bandwagon just yet. For the younger generation there is no doubt that digital downloads will continue to increase.
I think it is still too early to say that buying music on high street is at an end. HMV has been bought out and will continue to have a high street presence whilst now having a digital strategy in place to ensure the latest albums and singles are also accessible online as well. There are still many people who like to visit a high street music store and buy the latest albums on CD. For many people music habits won’t change and the nostalgia of still listening to an album on a CD is still very important. There are now many online retailers where you can sell CDs for extra cash that maybe you don’t listen too anymore or you can even trade them in for the latest album.
For other people buying music online is now the only way they will purchase music. With downloading music online, it is possible to buy just the tracks you like rather than an entire music album. For example with platforms such as itunes, it is possible to buy and download individual music tracks of your choice. There is no doubt that download sales are rising and whilst CD sales are dropping, the demise of the high street music retailer is a bit premature. For those who only download music online, you can now sell CDs for extra cash from online retailers and some high street record shops. The reason being that there are still many of us who like to listen to their music the old fashioned way.