Forbes is spouting nonsense; they claim that Bruce Springsteen fans are too old to download. The evidence:
… On ITunes, “ Wrecking Ball” is the number 11 album, well behind ubiquitous number 1 seller Adele and her “21″ album. And there are nine other albums between by Adele again and even the Monkees. On Amazon.com, “Wrecking Ball: Special Edition” logs in at number 95 on the MP3 download chart. Yet, on Amazon’s chart of physical sales, the album is number 1, right behind Adele [sic]. …
That’s an unedited quote, so the incoherence is on the part of the author, and it continues here:
… Physical CDs are still in high demand for people 40 and older. They want the CD package in their hands–a souvenir, evidence of something they’ve purchased, an addition to a collection of past CDs of their favorite artists. Also, they still don’t really get the technical part of downloading music. Funny, huh? But it’s true. They know how to order it online, but they’re just comfortable — even on the over-hyped ITunes–pressing “download.” [sic] Interesting. …
Let me offer an alternative view, as a 47 year old whose downloading habits would put a teenager to shame.
First I’ll show my age. Do you remember this scene from Fried Green Tomatoes?
The "I'm older and and I have more insurance" line is my point.
The buying decision for me looks like this. On Amazon, the physical CD is $12.99 and so is the MP3 download.* But, I’m older and I have Amazon Prime. I get free second day shipping. If I can wait that long, I get the CD in the jewel box with the artwork and the liner notes: so now I have a DRM free, permanent backup,† from which I can make my own MP3s that are higher quality than I can download. I can even rip and compress the CD into a lossless FLAC file if I want (since I’m older and I have more hard drive space, and older and pay for a faster connection to the cloud).
FWIW: I’m still not sure that I’d buy the new Springsteen; the wife is the bigger fan‡ and more likely to make that commitment. She’d say that’s because she’s hipper than me, but I know it’s because we keep the CDs downstairs and she doesn’t like the bother. Now, that’s a real reason 40-somethings do download: our houses are too big and the CDs can’t be kept everywhere.
* Oh … and to the dumb kid who did the research for the old fogie who wrote the pandering Forbes article, the MP3’s you get from Amazon are better quality than iTunes, usually a bit cheaper, and have less in the way of DRM nonsense. Oh … and they play in anything … instead of being wedded to that piece of crap iTunes player.
† Us old fogies also know, that while burning was great while it lasted, the permanence of home-brewed CDs left a lot to be desired compared to the permanence of factory manufactured CDs, and that it was disposable CD players with 1 laser and a bunch of mirrors instead of more than one laser that obscured this point.
‡ Would you believe we actually had this argument about 6 months ago? I lost.