Panicked music execs, paranoid after years of cocaine abuse in the 80’s, may be predicting the death of the industry with digital downloads making it even easier for pesky audio pirates to distribute stolen music, but a big picture view of the industry indicates that popular distribution methods have always been under attack from developing means. Consumers outlasted the vinyl, the 8-track, cassettes, and are currently funding the digital war on CDs. So chill-out, as the Digital Music News pie chart suggests, it’s all cyclical, man!
While the graph does bear a resemblance to a cannibalistic Pac-Man eating itself, it offers a concise illustration of the shifting nature of consumer trends within the music industry. While the current state of affairs implies an immanent and forced shift in behavior for fans who prefer a tangible piece of property in return for a purchase, it does pose the question, what is next? Unfortunately for gullible turn of the century wannabe-taskmasters, the mini-disc revival is never going to happen because it was never a ‘thing’ in the first place. Sorry, it’s all in the graph.