Morale: CDs Go To War

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October 24, 2007: While the recording industry bemoans the shrinking sales of music CDs, that is not the case in Iraq and Afghanistan. At least not among U.S. troops, who bought 1.7 million CDs last year, in 54 Middle Eastern post and base exchanges (military style Wal-Marts that have been around since World War II). While the record companies sold about 1.5 CDs per teenager and adult in the United States last year, the troops in the Middle East bought three times as many. The recording industry would say that's because the troops can't download much music (not enough fast connections). But it's mostly because listening to music is a popular off-duty activity. Only about a third of the U.S. population buys CDs, while nearly half the troops in the Middle East do. Many troops are also listening to iPods, but CDs remain the easiest way to get new music in the combat zone.

 


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