Black Eyed Peas make download history

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Published:  June 24, 2010
Black Eyed Peas make download history

Remember the days of the good old cassingle that used to get chewed up in the ghetto blaster/tape deck, much to the dismay of many big-haired 80s children? Cassettes and cassingles died a lonely, quiet death to make way for the brand new technology of compact discs. Today, it seems the onslaught of digital downloads is signaling the death knell for the CD single. With the emergence of distributors like iTunes and The Official Charts Company, downloads now account for 98% of single sales. It appears the CD single – and perhaps indicatively, the CD album – is on its way out.

In early May, the Black Eyed Peas’ single, I Gotta Feeling, became the highest selling digital download in the US. Early this week, the hip-hop supergroup achieved a similar feat in the UK with the announcement that Feeling had just hit the one millionth download, a first in the UK, for a single available solely through digital downloads.

“It’s a very significant step for the download market,” says Martin Talbot, director of The Official Charts Company. Despite the MP3 format being of a lesser quality than CDs, downloading a single is preferable to many for its instantaneity and affordability.

The milestone also plays a part in the interminable issues arising from “the death of the CD” debate. Music piracy, the accessibility of digital downloads and reduced consumer spending have all contributed to the drop in CD sales.

On the other hand, CDs, like vinyl records, may never be completely redundant. Just like LPs and their paper sleeves, there will no doubt always be a market – even a small one –  for those who still love the tangibility of a shiny, new, shrinkwrapped CD with cool artwork and a wicked cover.

All Images Copyright The Black Eyed Peas

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