The Number of People Buying Music Went Up in 2011

I’ve always maintained that if you give people a chance to purchase music easily at a reasonable price with few (or zero) restrictions, they will choose that route over stealing it.  Yes, there will always be pirates, but I honestly believe that for the vast majority of music fans, it’s just too much hassle to go to P2P networks or torrent sites.

Why?  You have to find the right software, locate the sites that may have your stuff, get the download (and sometimes have to seed something in return), make sure whatever you get isn’t ridden with viruses, import them into your music player, properly tag the files and transfer them to the devices you want.  

I don’t know about you, but I just don’t have that kind of time.  I’d rather just spend the 99 cents (or whatever) to get a clean, virus-free version of the song I want.  And where possible, I’ll buy the CD or the vinyl.

After more than a decade of free-for-all downloading, more people are discovering that it’s just easier to pay than steal.  From All Things Digital:

Music sales finally ticked up last year, for the first time in a very long time. We won’t know for a while if that’s a one-off gain or the start of the industry’s post-Napster recovery, but here’s an encouraging note: The number of music buyers also increased.

That data point comes from NPD, which says 78 million Americans bought music in 2011, up 2 percent from 2010. And that’s the second consecutive year the number has bumped up.

Then again, all this could be attributed to just one person in 2011:  Adele.  But who knows?  Maybe this is the start of a new era in music purchasing.  Read the rest here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “The Number of People Buying Music Went Up in 2011

  • March 8, 2012 at 2:48 am

    2011 was a year of good music. That could have something to do with it.


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