There is a big shift to digital in both North America and Asia in these figures that is probably causing some concern amongst recording industry execs. I'm really glad and really hoping that in future more of the money spent on music will get into the hands of artists and record companies who develop talent.
Today retailers take a third of the retail value of physical music for doing very little. They carry some inventory but send back any they don't sell. Their service is inferior to the online offerings because you can't sample, find out more or get any expert advice. They are crummy at cross selling. So we should all be celebrating that the new business model includes online retailers and the iTunes store. We should also be pressuring the new channels to reduce their prices. I won't buy online digital content for the same price as a physical equivalent. If the record companies want me to buy more, price the content to the new model and the new costs of doing business. Oh, and getting rid of cds will have some benefits for the planet as well.