Gnarls has smash, but sales take a bash

[intro]Mental space-pop duo Dangermouse and Cee-Lo, aka Gnarls Barkley, have rounded off 2006 by taking the top spot in iTunes’ ‘Most Downloaded’ ch

Mental space-pop duo Dangermouse and Cee-Lo, aka Gnarls Barkley, have rounded off 2006 by taking the top spot in iTunes’ ‘Most Downloaded’ chart.

Their ubiquitous breakthrough hit, Crazy, clung onto the summit of the Apple charts back in the summer and refused to let go for a full nine weeks. In that time it also made history as the first track to top the UK Singles Chart without selling a single physical copy from a shop.

Off the back of the news, Apple was keen to stress how strong an indicator of trends the iTunes chart was, thanks to its 80 per cent market share, but oddly failed to mention the decline in overall sales that analyst company Forrester Research has uncovered.

Since January this year, monthly iTunes revenue has fallen by a whopping 65 per cent. In the same period, iPod sales have jumped four fold, so where are we getting our music from to fill all these ‘Pods?

Forrester boffins have concluded that rather than flocking to DRM-ridden digital stores, music lovers are choosing to fritter away their wages at online CD retailers like Play.com or CD Wow. It appears that Johnny Consumer is just not happy with being told what he can and can’t do with his downloads.

You’ll know about my personal feelings for DRM from previous blogs but I think it’s a bit early to be declaring victory. As the experts point out, what the record companies are losing in CD sales, they aren’t gaining from DRM downloads. We could, however (fingers crossed), be seeing the beginning of the end.

via The Register

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