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Once we strolled into record stores and poured over the back of CD covers for hours on end.

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But now music has gone digital (thanks or no thanks to a certain Steve Jobs), who’s iPod managed to frogleap the brick and mortar music store.

Now it look is like digital really has won – as music downloads are to exceed CD and record purchases for the first time in Australia in the next year or so.

Thats according to Australia Record Industry CEO, Dan Rosen, who confirmed the full move to digital as our 21 century way of consuming music, revealing music downloads will soon exceed sales of CD, DVD’s and records in Oz, following the lead of US and UK.

Physical sales of music in OZ has fallen a staggering 50% to $242 million in the past five years and is set to slump again this year. Meanwhile digital sales is fast catching up, hitting $141m in 2011 and is set to expand by one third this year.

However, Rosen admits unlimited streaming services for around $6.99 per month such as Spotify and JB HiFi Music Now are pulling music back into legit territory, after year of illegal downloading which has to be a good thing for the industry.

“They make it easier for people to do the right thing,” Rosen told AFR, ahead of ARIA awards which take place tonight in Sydney.

Digital music revenues to record companies grew by 8% globally in 2011 to US$5.2 billion compared to 5% growth in 2010.

 

“We have really only scratched the surface of digital music in the last decade – now we are starting the real mining, and on a global scale,” Rob Wells, president, global digital business,Universal Music Group, said at the beginning of the year.

‘Somebody I Used to Know’ by Gotye was the most downloaded song on Spotify this year, globally, a service that had over 20 million users globally in May last, while charts such as iTunes are now almost as influencial as ARIA charts.

It looks like buying music instore may soon be a case of ‘something I used to know.’

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