“Music downloads will render compact discs all but obsolete in the next five years, yet half of all companies that begin selling digital songs online will fail by year-end, a researcher warned Saturday.
By 2008, about a third of music sales in the United States and nearly 20 percent in Europe will come in the form of downloads and streaming music over the Internet, building a multi-billion dollar business for the battered music industry, according to a new study by the consulting firm Forrester Research.
'The industry is going through a complete change in the way people consume music,' Josh Bernoff, a Forrester Research analyst told a gathering of music and technology executives at the annual MidemNet conference.
He said the U.S. market alone for downloads and subscriptions to online music stores will top $300 million this year from a virtual standing start a year ago.
Even if you think that's an optimistic timeline, digital downloads are going to catch on as fast as DVDs did. The question for librarians is when to jump in, how to circulate them, and whether we'll even get the chance. [The Shifted Librarian]