If You Buy CDs, You're Probably an Oldster

The over-40 set is the mainstay of album sales
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2010 5:35 PM CDT
British singer Susan Boyle displays a copy of her CD, at the front door of her house in Blackburn, Scotland, Saturday Nov. 28, 2009.   (AP Photo/Andrew Milligan, PA)

(Newser) – These days, if you want to sell CDs, you're best off targeting the over-40 crowd. In a bizarre twist on music industry logic, older buyers have become a relatively potent force in music sales. The reason: "Adults don’t steal, because we don’t know how to," one older music producer tells the Boston Globe. “We're still married to the concept of ‘put the CD in the car, put the CD in the library.’"

Younger buyers download, and when they do buy, tend toward singles rather than full albums. The phenomenon produces bizarre sales rankings: Susan Boyle, for example, trumps Jay-Z and Taylor Swift. “Taylor Swift’s album took over a year to sell what Boyle’s sold in three months because Taylor’s people were doing it in dribs and drabs," a radio producer says. A decade ago, an album had to sell a million copies to crack the Top 10; today, it takes about 70,000.

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