Valentine’s Day weekly CD sales: biggest non-holiday week ever

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Music
February 19th, 2004 • 4:17 am

According to this VH-1 News article, “between February 9 and February 15, over 17 million albums were sold in the U.S.“, thanks to the impact of Norah Jones’ new release, the Grammy Awards, and the typically strong Valentine’s Day sales.

This apparently makes the week SoundScan’s “biggest non-holiday-season sales week since the organization started tracking record sales in 1991“.

I realize that this might only be a temporary blip, but wasn’t the RIAA complaining about declining CD sales due to widespread on-line piracy?


But I’m sure they will find another reason to complain if CD sales do indeed creep back up this year. Either that, or they’ll pretend that their legal actions against piracy are actually what’s boosting sales.

They never provided us with any convincing evidence that on-line file-sharing was indeed causing the decline in CD sales — so I guess they won’t be expected to supply evidence that their legal actions are causing an increase.

2 Responses to “Valentine’s Day weekly CD sales: biggest non-holiday week ever”

  1. Pierre Igot says:

    I am in full agreement with you here :). I too bought a lot of music because of Napster, and have been missing the service since the RIAA shut it down. (The Gnutella-based solutions are not really usable with a pokey modem connection.)

    The trouble is that the mainstream media is in good part owned by the same companies that own the record labels. So you will never hear views such as ours. VH-1’s parent company (Viacom) might not own any major record labels, but it owns many TV channels and movie studios and is probably concerned that it’s going to lose business to video file-sharing.

  2. MacDesigner says:

    I may be wrong, however if I remember correctly, music sales were at an all time high during the peak of the original Napster days. And since the end of Napster music sales have been in a steady decline. Why is it so hard for the RIAA to understand that Napster, while allowing a certain amount of music pirating, was a gold mine that allowed potential customers an opportunity to listen to songs before committing real money in a CD.

    As my budget has changed over the years, the amount I can afford to spend on music has gone down. With Napster I was able to download both a song I’d heard from a band and some other songs by them to see if they were more than a one hit wonder. Plus, I didn’t have to stand in the store for half an hour at the listening stations. Add to the mix how generic and bland radio has become and concert prices. Just last week I read in the local paper that Sarah Mclachlan was coming to town and the ticket prices were reasonable, they started at $45, how is that reasonable. $90 for 2 tickets if I want to take someone with me to the concert? How about a nice dinner, then back to my place and we listen to a CD, that way I’ll save at least $30 and not have to deal with the traffic.

    All these factors have combined to cause diminishing sales, but the RIAA refuses to look beyond internet downloads. They forget it’s people like me, middle class america that drives the economy. The music industry and the sports industry has slowly excluded many of us from participation by pricing us out. As the cost of living increases we have to make a choice between survival and entertainment. This has eroded the fan base for both industries.

    Two things would increase music sales.
    1) Better prices for both CDs and concert tickets. Allowing people with lower incomes the ability to buy both items. This increases interest and loyalty to already established acts, and encourages experimentation with new acts.

    2) Allow file sharing. Napster was a community for many, not only somewhere to download songs but a place to talk and share how that music affected their lives. This increases sales because music becomes more than a background noise, it becomes a part of their lives.

    The pirates will always be there. The only way to assure the end of music pirating, is to get rid of the music, can’t copy what doesn’t exist.

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