Stand by Your Twang

Country music sales, industry's last stalwart, are finally taking a dive
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2007 7:40 AM CDT
Stand by Your Twang
Wynonna Judd poses by her star with Mike Curb, of Curb Records, who introduced her at the induction ceremony at the Music City Walk of Fame in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday, April 22, 2007. (AP Photo/The Tennessean, Shauna Bittle)   (Associated Press)

Country music album sales are down nearly 30% so far this year. That might seem slightly less dramatic against the whole industry's 15% slide, but country’s been the biz’s final remaining hold-out—holding nearly even in 2005 and 2006 amid the digital revolution. So the newest dive may signal the last beachhead is broken, BusinessWeek reports.

Skeptics point to upcoming Wynonna Judd and Rascal Flatts releases, saying there’s bounty yet to be had in 2007 sales. Experts think country’s figures have held steady for so long because downloading is less popular among the genre’s fans. One industry hand—er, industry card—blamed the Civil War’s devastating legacy: “Fewer people in Tennessee can afford computers and iPods.” (Read more country music stories.)

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