From A.V. Club:
The sky is still up and water is still wet, but the truism that the music industry is circling the drain appears—at least for now—to be reversing itself ever-so-slightly. Consequence Of Sound gathers the evidence, beginning with a story from Exclaim noting that album sales in North America are up for the first time since 2004. It might only be a 1 percent increase from last year—which is around 2 million albums, or roughly the sales of Adele’s year-leading 21—but it’s still an increase.
Also, music sales overall are up 8.5 percent from 2010, with digital tracks up 11 percent, digital albums up 19 percent, and vinyl albums up a truly impressive 41 percent. (Both Fleet Foxes’Helplessness Blues and The Beatles’ Abbey Road have sold 20,000 vinyl copies this year.)
I’m not naive enough to say that the 90s are on their way back, or that the record industry won’t look radically different in a decade.
But it’s interesting — we’ve used the record industry as an example of what lies in store for higher education as we face ubiquitous broadband — years of hubris followed by exponential decline into irrelevance.
But life turns out to not be so tidy. If it was worth pointing to the record industry as an example before, it might also be worth thinking about the ways that trajectory has surprised us.