Interesting article on Ars Technica, based on new research by a Norwegian management school. I think this is pretty much spot on, as are some of the reader comments :
"Now that people can choose to cherry pick the songs they wish, full album sales are dropping greatly. That means you can increase the number of overall sales while seeing a decrease in revenue as people choose to buy one or two songs versus a full album"
"Overall revenue is down, because people can finally buy just the 1 or 2 decent songs from a so-called 'album', without needing to also buy the 8-10 filler songs that are also on it. Of course, it takes more work for the artists and labels to create more 'good' songs (and advertise them), but instead, the labels are still trying to figure out some way to trick consumers into buying those crappy filler songs"
"No surprise at all. That's exactly how I used to use Napster, back in the day. Download to preview, buy the albums containing songs I liked. When that went away, my purchases dropped by half; if P2P went away entirely, I'm not sure if I'd buy any music any more"
Nothing to add.