FOR THE WEEK OF MAR. 10, 2008
For many music fans, CDs are so last century
Entertainment coverage lets readers learn about new bands, popular songs and concert tours. Send fans on a treasure hunt for music news of interest.
Music inspires passionate discussions about what's hot and what's not. Invite class members to check the paper's website for an entertainment blog, discussion forum or article comments where readers share their views.
Superstars aren't the only source of good music. Launch a discussion about the paper's role in spreading awareness of local bands and singer-songwriters. Is there enough coverage? Do students use entertainment pages and weekend listings section to spot upcoming events?
Did you ever use a typewriter? A rotary dial phone? A cassette tape player? A music CD? OK, one out of four shows you have a link to the 20th Century, although that last item is moving steadily closer to joining other old school technology in the nostalgia category. Albums still come on compact discs, but new research shows that a declining number of teens buy them.
Nearly half of all teenagers - 48 percent - didn't buy even one music CD last year. That's a dramatic jump from 2006, when 38 percent of teens avoided that way of getting new tunes. The reason is as clear as a well-played guitar note: Online music downloads are how most young listeners build music collections.
During the past year, Apple's iTunes digital music store jumped ahead of Best Buy to become the No. 2 music seller nationwide. Some industry experts say iTunes will overtake Wal-Mart for the top spot in 2008. Amazon's MP3 store also is a popular online seller of digital music. So it's no surprise that CD sales in the U.S. fell 19 percent in 2007 from the previous year, while sales of digital songs jumped 45 percent.
Teen says: "You have to go to the [CD] store and then you have to pay -- I don't know how much, $12, I'm guessing? -- then you have to put it on your computer. When you download it, it's right there." -- Rachel Rottman, 14, of Santa Monica, who has about 2,600 songs on her computer
Credit card unneeded: Because teens lack charge cards, iTunes is pretty much the only place they can buy digital music online without using a parent's account. Apple sells gift cards at retail shops, which teens can use online by keying in a code.
Analyst says: "Apple will in all likelihood catch Wal-Mart this year." - Russ Crupnick, president of music research for NPD Group (business research firm)
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