The real reason that sales are down is that there aren’t that many good discs being released. Period. End of story.

Sales Value Sees 7.2% Decline In 2002
Piracy, competition for consumer spending, and economic uncertainty helped send the value of global music sales down 7.2% to $32.2 billion last year, according to figures released Wednesday by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). Unit sales fell 8% from 2001.
Global sales of CD albums suffered a 6% drop from 2001 to 2.25 billion units. Singles fell 16% to 265 million units, and cassette albums plummeted 36% to 487 million units. Combined audio product –including the vinyl LP format — reached a value of $30.98 billion, down 7.5% from 2001.
Music videos, on the other hand, saw growth in value of 12% to $1.25 billion. This was driven by growth in DVD music titles of 58%, which offset a 42% decline in VHS sales.
On a regional basis, all territories except Africa experienced significant downturns. The economic difficulties in Asia and Latin America served to exacerbate the industry’s problems in those territories: Asia excluding Japan saw value fall 16.5%, while Latin America suffered a 13% fall.
“2002 was just about what people expected; there were no great surprises during the year,” IFPI chairman/CEO Jay Berman tells Billboard Bulletin. He says he believes 2003 will be similar to 2002, with the “worst-case scenario” being a value downturn of 5%. “I sincerely believe we’re getting close to the turnaround,” he says.