updated 10:30 pm EST, Tue February 28, 2006
Digital music trends
Digital music is eating into traditional stereo system sales (subscription required) and may help provide more color behind Apple's introduction of the Hi-Fi iPod boombox. While CD sales continue to decline, a new report in The WallStreet Journal says that "retail sales of home audio equipment, including stereo system components and surround-sound 'home theater in a box' rigs, dropped nearly 18 percent last year, to 10.2 million units" and that "even when consumers aren't using portable devices, more are shifting their music consumption away from stereos. Among 1,031 adult respondents to a consumer-behavior survey published last year by the CEA, 34% said they listened to music at home primarily on a PC, compared with just 26% who said they used a stereo or surround-sound receiver as their main home listening system." The article notes that while Apple has begun targetting the digital music users, other manufacturers have updated their strategies to offer more features to their home audio systems designed to make them easier to use with portable digital players.