- iTunes has now passed Wal-Mart and everyone else to become the top music retailer in the U.S.
- Universal, Sony BMG, and Warner Music Group will offer their catalogues in a joint project with MySpace
This is big news for a business that has been plagued by self-inflicted misfires, mistakes, and misadventures in the digital world. After all this time, they have discovered that indeed there is a "there there" to stream, distribute, and sell music via a variety of different digital sources. Good for them.
In the meantime, the RIAA continues to downplay radio's role in the exposure and selling process. But ask yourself this: how do most consumers discover the music they choose to stream, download, and/or purchase from all these new distribution outlets? It's still about the radio.
Yes, it's great to get a song on Grey's Anatomy or on that new GAP commercial. Satellite radio is another outlet that the labels vigorously pursue, but as we see in our new Tech Poll, let's not forget about how the vast majority of Americans still find out about new music:
Now, critics will chime in that this survey is a self-fulfilling prophesy because it is conducted among radio listeners. But since 90%+ of the U.S. falls into that category, there's not much of a skew to this data. Hey, if it makes you feel better, subtract 5 or 10 percentage points from FM radio and look at this chart again. If I was a new band with music to expose and sell, my chips would still be on good old FM radio. Why the record industry would criticize the incredible power of this traditional medium defies logic.