Wednesday 21 March 2018

Natalie Hayes: We're still buying CDs in their millions depite the digital revolution

A large chunk of the internet is not that important to most people, it seems. This week saw headlines that CD sales are still falling fast, while digital album sales increase – all of which you might expect. But the actual figures are more surprising: 26.6 million albums were sold digitally in the UK in 2011. Meanwhile, 86.2m actual shiny silver discs were shifted in the same year.

In other words, we still buy more than three times as many CDs as downloads. And since Michael Bublé's Christmas record outsold every album last year apart from Adele's 21, then we are buying them because we like listening to songs with our friends or families when we gather together.

The same is true with television. The BBC doesn't demand a licence fee from those who use its iPlayer service. That might be because statistically, those users most probably have a TV licence already. But it's more likely to be because the BBC estimates that only 0.2 per cent of us watch programmes in that way alone. The remaining 99.8 per cent prefer to turn on our televisions, and watch programmes as they go out, even if we use iPlayer too.

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