Despite what the major music labels may want you to think, it's not piracy that's killing album sales, it's album "filler".
According to Professor Anita Elberse of Harvard Business School, people are buying fewer albums because they're buying digital singles and skipping songs they consider to be filler.
Elberse researched what happens when people start buying digital music. She found that, as consumers switch to digital downloads, they "cherry pick" individual songs instead of purchasing entire albums.
Highlights of her study:
Is The Album Obsolete?
Elberse's research also suggests that we should rethink the idea of making the album the standard unit for music releases.
"Labels should rethink the essence of a bundle," according to Elberse. "Digital channels give labels great flexibility to try alternative formats. My results show that giving preference to quality over quantity and designing smaller, more consistent bundles may be beneficial."
What do you think? Are you buying singles and skipping the album filler? And does digital music make the album obsolete?