CD sales down near college campuses?
May 25, 2000 6:23 AM   Subscribe

CD sales down near college campuses?
A new study shows that despite growing music sales overall, independent stores near the campuses of colleges that have banned Napster report a 7% decline in sales over the past two years. [more inside...]
posted by daveadams (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Of course, the study was performed by a "digital-rights management" company with a huge interest in seeing the demise of MP3s and Napster. They also didn't take into account the actual purchasing habits of the college consumers. Online sales and big-box store sales weren't taken into account. Independent record stores have been losing sales over the last few years anyway. I don't buy it, personally.
posted by daveadams at 6:26 AM on May 25, 2000

It's worth noting that the headline I saw today in the SF Chronicle suggested that Napster was hurting CD sales near colleges, while the data shows nothing of the sort. There's been a drop in sales near colleges in general (the drop at schools which banned Napster was greater than at those which didn't). I think the most likely answer is that those lazy college kids buy more of their CDs from Amazon/CDnow/Insound than the local store.

If Insound could replicate the experience of a pretentious record-store clerk sneering at me while I buy a Palace Bros. album, I'd be all set.
posted by snarkout at 9:29 AM on May 25, 2000

Hey, I'm a college student.. I'd resent that "lazy college kids" remark if I wasn't too busy napping. Seriously, though, they can't prove any actual correlation between Napster and the decline in CD sales. My guess is that many college students are starting to realize that it's not worth blowing ~$20 on a CD at a traditional store when one can get them for ~$12 on Amazon and other online stores. Plus, I find myself frequenting used CD stores a lot, where I get great satisfaction from searching through the shelves & shelves of CDs to find a $3 gem.
posted by zempf at 11:12 AM on May 25, 2000

Hey wait. If indeed sales are declining, don't you think that could be do to indie rock sucking quite a bit lately? Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of great stuff getting released on the million and two labels, but nothing like four or five years ago. Plus, it’s hard for me to swallow that mp3 use would make much of an impact at record stores.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 11:18 AM on May 25, 2000

I wonder if indie rock really makes much of a difference at all in the overall sales numbers. I mean, even in a college town, is a new Stereolab or Shellac album going to compete sales-wise with, I dunno, Kid Rock or the Beastie Boys or what-have-you? Not to mention that half the indie rock purchases people make are used CDs swiped from the promo bin at the college radio staton, right?

Buy more Built to Spill albums, you lazy college kids! Hee hee.
posted by snarkout at 11:33 AM on May 25, 2000

i think its insane to assume that napster has anything to with the CD sales decline. i agree with zempf. college students have realized that they can just as easily order CDs from or CD-NOW for less.

additionally, i know alot of my friends didn't discover ebay untill they got to college. i know that is my main source for rare/out-of-print CDs and plenty of my friend use it to buy CDs as well. favorite part of the article is when the record store owner says "The major label companies are (run by) extremely evil people"
i wonder if this guy can testify in the napster case?
posted by darainwa at 11:33 AM on May 25, 2000

Most of my friends buy CDs online, via eBay, CD Now, Tower Records, etc. It's just so much easier to point and click, and wait for the CD to come in via mail [while the CD is on it's way, you fire up napster/gnutella/etc and save yourself the trouble of ripping the songs once the CD arrives] as opposed to grab a jacket, grab the car keys/a friend who has a car, go to the record store, browse through the collection without having the ability to find your favourite artist right away ala My CDNow and search engines, pick a CD or two, wait in line to pay, pay, go back to your room. I dunno you tell me what sounds better? [The last 5 CDs/MDs I've bought were from a record store.]
posted by riffola at 1:08 PM on May 25, 2000

I wonder if Reciprocal is related to Mindcraft. Judging from the scant details in the article, it seems like an entirely engineered set of numbers.

"There are three kinds of statistics: lies, lies, and damnable lies." --attr. Samuel Clemens
posted by katchomko at 2:43 PM on May 25, 2000

Actually, that usually reads, "There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics." Not proven that he said it, though (many anonymous quotes are attributed to him).
posted by dhartung at 9:40 PM on May 25, 2000

Thought it was Disraeli.
posted by EngineBeak at 11:41 PM on May 25, 2000

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