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The Music Industry's Crisis Writ Large 554

The NY Times has an opinion piece that makes starkly clear the financial decline of the music industry. It's accompanied by an infographic that cleverly renders the drop-off. The latest culprit accelerating the undoing of the music business is free, legal online music streaming. "Since music sales peaked in 1999, the value of those sales, after adjusting for inflation, has dropped by more than half. At that rate, the industry could be decimated before Madonna's 60th birthday. ... 13- to 17-year-olds acquired 19 percent less music in 2008 than they did in 2007. CD sales among these teenagers were down 26 percent and digital purchases were down 13 percent. ... [T]he percentage of 14- to 18-year-olds who regularly share files dropped by nearly a third from December 2007 to January 2009. On the other hand, two-thirds of those teens now listen to streaming music 'regularly' and nearly a third listen to it every day."

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