Now that digital music has surpassed physical music sales things around the industry are going to have to change.
Although it's only 50.3% - it's still over half of all sales - so perhaps this is a wake-up call to an industry.
Do the people buying digital music spend their money on the same music as those that go into record stores? It appears so when you look at the Top Songs Chart on iTunes but we need to remember digital music is very singles driven. So make up for the money being lost on albums will need to come in ten fold from singles. How will the record companies adapt?
I can tell you one thing - and that is they need to make music available for purchase the second it's released to radio and online. There's no waiting when it comes to music. If someone likes it then they need to be able to buy it right then and there. The impulse buy needs to be as easy as grabbing a snickers bar at the check-out of a grocery store.
Whether it's links on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, MySpace, Official sites, Newsletters, Blogs, Articles or more - they need to be made available ASAP if they want to change the habits of music lovers.
Record companies are already doing a good job of promoting iTunes - but as traditional retail continues to let them down they'll need to look at putting their marketing money elsewhere. I mean spending $5k to rack something in an HMV hoping people walk to the back of a store?? WTF. Perhaps heightened awareness with direct links is a better way to go. I know this is how I buy my music.
I say this knowing fine well that the lion's share of revenue still comes from the CD itself. It's only a matter of time until it isn't and so something needs to be done now to keep their heads above water.
Here are a few digital singles I think you should check out and buy. Trust me as I wouldn't steer you wrong.
Azealia Banks feat Lazy Jay - '212'
Kanye recently tweeted that she's the future of music and this track is absolutely massive. It'll likely never see the light of day on TV or in mainstream media, based on lyrical content, but it's getting her noticed. BBC's Radio1 have actually created their own clean version of this track and it's now in a regular rotation - so look out. Buy button
*Hats off to some girls in my office for being on this track back in September.
Ed Sheeran - 'The A Team'
This gents been putting out massive hits in the UK and Europe for a couple of years now. His voice is beauties and this particular track makes me smile. Buy button
M83 - 'Midnight City'
Victoria Secret used it in an ad. HBO's How To Make It In America used it in a key scene and it's bloody gorgeous. This track just needs a mainstream push and it could very well change the game for the months ahead. Buy button
Emeli Sande - 'Heaven'
First off you can never go wrong with the funky drummer beat used at the top of this song. It's legendary and full of so much energy. Emeli Sande is sure to be a household name this year - if not for her pure talent then for this single alone. I had the pleasure of seeing her perform it live in the UK recently and fell in love. Not Available In Canada Yet
Gotye feat Kimbra - 'Somebody That I Used To Know'
With already over 30 million hits on YouTube it's not surprising the label have bumped it up on the list of priorities for 2012. It truly is an amazingly song and the video is super cool too.
The cover by a collective called 'Walk Off The Earth' is making the rounds now and has already garnered over 3 million hits.
It's been a band to watch for sometime in the music industry and feels like something very special indeed. Buy button
One Direction - 'What Makes You Beautiful'
This is one of the few British boy bands that will resonate here in North America this year. The single itself isn't available to buy at this time - but the video is. I like to think that this it's a genius move on the labels part - as it's all about the heartthrob boys running around a beach. Buy button
We Were Promised Jetpacks - 'Quiet Little Voices'
A good friend of mine told me about this band ages ago. They are very Scottish and you can hear that in the vocals. I saw the movie 'Hall Pass' this week and it used this particular track in a party scene. Buy button
Snow Patrol - 'Symphony'
I can't say enough about these guys. Their latest album 'Fallen Empires' is in-stores and online this Tuesday - so whether you go to record stores or grab tracks digitally I recommend this new album. Buy button
Contrary to popular belief music is not free. There's a lot that goes into the promotion and creation of GOOD music - and without that the future may be very bland and boring. Auto-tune anyone?
Thanks for reading/listening.