apologies if someone already posted this. I submitted last night but it never made it into the ARSC
e-mail for some reason.
Two things I noticed from the data linked above:
1. look at how quickly LPs went from being the majority mass medium once people had a choice (duped
cassettes and then almost simultaneously, CDs). People wanted portable from Day 1. I've always been
surprised how long it took to get the Walkman. Portable cassette transports had been around since
the 60s. Headphone first gained popularity with consumers in the early 70s. Why another decade to
marry the two?
2. look at how long duped cassettes hung in with CDs. I remember that it took a long time for CD
players to be standard-issue in cars, they were a costly option-upgrade for a long time (and didn't
work too well on America's bumpy roads).
Another thing -- these stats must be for volume, not dollars. No way downloads are accounting for
nearly half the dollars today. Very easy to believe they are accounting for half the total volume,
maybe more if you count subscription (or not) streaming. I'd also like to know how streaming
listening time stacks up against radio listening time (I bet it's now more, measured by total
For what it's worth, I've been pleasantly surprised how good-sounding and reliable the streams have
gotten for both Pandora and Amazon Cloud Player. I wouldn't have thought such a thing possible just
10 years ago. The Amazon Cloud player really is a neat idea. They have a business record of
everything you've bought and all of a sudden most of that music is no-cost streaming via WiFi or
cellphone data plan. It's not making my 160gig iPod obsolete yet, but I notice Apple is quietly
phasing out all the big-drive iPods.
-- Tom Fine