Hey, Mr. Music Executive: scrap your preoccupation with CD sales and start looking for ways to help people share, yes share music; focus more on developing and profiting from artists; and forget about subscription services and ad-supported music.
These are the conclusions of James McQuivey, a Forrester analyst, according to a report titled "The End Of The Music Industry As We Know It," issued on Tuesday.
That's a fitting title because the report reads like an obituary. Tower Records, a music mecca for decades, has already closed but McQuivey argues the real deathblow to the industry will come when Wal-Mart Stores, Best Buy, and other large retailers begin scaling back shelf space for CDs.
"This move will permanently signal the end of the music business as it was once known," McQuivey wrote. "From that point on, more music will be sold digitally than on CD, reducing CD sales to just $3.8 billion in 2012."