Love Downloading Music? Try Listening to Something New!

Paul Lilly

Remember when your great-great-great grandparents used to trek barefoot through miles of freezing snow in the scorching hot desert just for the privilege of purchasing a music CD from the music store that sat on top of a mountain? Maybe that's slightly exaggerating the situation, and while many of you still prefer to own physical media, downloading tracks has become the norm when it comes to purchasing groovy tunes. According to statistics compiled by Will Page, chief economist of the MCPS-PRS Alliance, and Andrew bud, the head of mobile software company mBlox, there are roughly 13 million songs available for download. But only a small fraction make up the majority of downloads.

With so many songs to choose from, you might think the wealth is being spread around. But surprisingly, just 52,000 songs make up for 80 percent all music purchased online. The distribution becomes even more lopsided when looking at albums, with 85 percent of bands and singers who released an album in 2008 not having sold a single copy.

"There is an eerie similarity between a digital and high-street retailer in terms of what constitutes an efficient inventory and the shape of their respective demand curves," Andrew Bud told the Times . "I think there's something more going on there: a case of new schools meets old schools."

What are you listening to that might be off the beaten path? Post your favorite non-mainstream hits below and help your fellow readers expand their music collection.

Image Credit: Flickr [phi h]

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