I don’t think I have seen this little thought process surface as a possible reason (read: one of many possible reasons) for recent fluctuations in music sales.
Could the music industry now be facing the instinct of consumers to wait to purchase music until the whole system is upgraded?
Technology companies faces these cycles all the time. In expectation of a new model, consumers choose to not purchase the existing product unless the price falls dramatically. Instead, we wait for the next version. And as these cycles become shorter, we become more patient, waiting for exactly what we want and need.
Are consumers sensing signals in download stores, and especially music services, that alter the need to purchase music in the short term. Do consumer have a fear that albums bought today will somehow become obsolete within a few years (or even months). Are consumers waiting to purchase music in the expectation they soon won’t need to buy tracks, but will be able to sign up for music services on a grand scale?
I am in this category. I waited to buy a G5 until my school discount dropped a dual G with flat screen to ~$3000 (or less). And now, I wait patiently for a music service on my Mac. Thats’ right. Nominal to zero music purchased while I save money for monthly fees and all the music I can hear. Are there more consumers like me?