Atlantic Records has become the first major label to pass a high-tech milestone: More than half of its music sales are now from digital products such as iTunes downloads and ring tones for cell phones. Sales of CDs have been declining across the board in recent years, so it was just a matter of time, reports the New York Times.
But if the industry hoped the digital era would usher in a resurgence, the numbers are proving otherwise. Music sales in the US are projected to be $9.2 billion in 2013, down from $10.1 billion this year, and $14.6 billion in 1999. “It’s not at all clear that digital economics can make up for the drop in physical,” said one industry expert.