Where do you buy your music?

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The music industry has seen many changes since digital downloads started becoming popular. Consumers are definitely in the driver's seat when it comes to music, demanding more and more that digital music be accessible and competitively priced.

With those demands, iTunes has become America's biggest retailer of music, as of the end of February. It has surpassed Wal-Mart, and following Wal-Mart are Best Buy, Amazon.com, and Target. The future of music seems clear: Digital is the way to go, and record companies should not even try to resist!

iTunes is rocking and rolling with over 50 million customers, and its dominance is clear. Amazon.com is working on cutting into their market share, but only time will tell. So what's your preference in music? Are you still stuck on CDs? Or have you gone all digital? And if you're digital.. are you an iPod fanatic, or would you rather use a format that is more compatible with other products?

I've come to love digital downloads with abandon. I've always been the kind of person who likes two songs from one album, and often couldn't justify buying a whole album just for those favorites. The minute I was able to purchase individual songs, I was hooked on iTunes. And certainly the music industry has never been a big fan of that option: They'd rather I spend five times as much on buying the whole album from them. Yet I think that if they consider all the people like me who would skip buying the album all together if that was the only option, they will quickly see that they are selling more... now I'll buy the two songs I want instead of skipping the album all together.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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