I had the chance to speak with a client I worked with a few years ago. He's in the promotional products business. He and a musician partner have, over the past few years, developed their own CD compilations for branded CD premiums, and in a market many see as dire, has sold over 2 million CDs to his various corporate clients.
And while I'm not slighting the quality of the music he has produced, this is not name-brand music per se. There are no stars fueling this activity, though this guy has certainly done some cover versions of some hit tracks for his projects when need be.
So, as I've said before, even in the special markets field, the future is not entirely wrapped up in digital download or mobile. Physical product still has a crucial role to play, especially when you consider that CD premiums are still an appreciated gift. Just because people own iPods doesn't mean they aren't uploading music onto iTunes from CDs. If iTunes sales reflected the amount of music actually placed on iTunes software and iPod devices by consumers, then we'd see there is still an incredibly strong demand for music. It's just that we as consumers alreaady own a lot of the music we desire, just in CD form.