As I mentioned in my last post - sales of physical CDs were up 2.4% at E-commerce sites last year. E-commerce sites can offer up wider selection of product, allow customers to listen to audio clips of tracks, and peruse editorial and customer reviews of the album. What the E-commerce experience lacks in immediate customer gratification it gains in terms of ease of shopping experience.
Yet sales of albums at E-commerce sites represent just 6% of overall album sales. For labels with huge catalogs facing further consolidation of record retail floor space E-commerce sites represent the last best hope for the compact disc. So where is the great marketing effort on the part of the major labels, the RIAA, and independent labels to drive customers online to purchase physical product. This does not mean shunning label retail partners. So many major music retailers have online sites which sell music as well.
But it also broadens the number of accounts the distribution companies ought to be targeting to sell physical product (and digital music as well). So many "non-traditional" retailers operate E-commerce operations. Why not get these accounts to test the viability of music sales via their web site? How can the labels get these retailers to give them visbility on their site?
The point is this: in this area where the labels have a growth story to sell we hear little from the industry touting this success. Now is not the time to play possum. Now is the time to flaunt your plumage like a peacock and go out and convert the non-believers. CDs, especially catalog and deep catalog in this current market, need to be championed. Get out there and grind it out!