You have hit one of the 2 nails right on the head here.But they have worked really hard at trying to stop people from buying their product..for the best part of 10 years they've been brickwall limiting most of their stereo cd's...it was amazing hearing the general decline in sound with every monkees reissue...comparing the same cd title from years before to their latest offering...sonically worse but with more bonus tracks seems to be their favourite thing to do.....I drew the line for remastered reissues in stereo when I heard their reissue of Bee Gees greatest...it was simply abyssmal
The decline & fall of CD sales is, I believe, closely tied to 2 factors.
1 - the decline in quality of the CD, with earlier discs having headroom and dynamic range and modern titles having single figure DR figures (Metallica for one but even KT Tunstall's last album was butchered in mastering so badly it is literally unlistenable on a HiFi system). Metallica had dynamic range of 3 dB, for fucks sake!
2 - the decline in artist development.
This cannot be overstated, as it is tied in with the rise of the leveraged corporate buyout, coupled with tax rules that allow hostile takeovers and the cost of the takeover put back onto the bought out company as a tax break on the debt! This took all the cash, so that was it for development and with no artist support & development there will be no future at all - even the live industry is dying now because nobody except established acts can make money touring and they are all aging now.
Brickwalling is just as bad in the UK too - see the comment above about KT Tunstall - and again the problem is this misconception that "louder = better = more sales" when it blatantly does not. I have honestly lost traclk of the number of CD I have returned as they are unlistenable, and as I am forced to buy online (no more record stores thanks to globalization and corporate tax dodging where UK stores cannot match box shifters as they are all based outside UK and not subject to VAT, even though the " head office" is usually a name plaque at a solicitors office, with all discs being shipped from warehouses in the UK yet still they pay no VAT.) there is no way to audition in advance so I have to trust to luck & return the crap.
Frankly, I suspect most people cannot be bothered so stopped buying instead.
Yet people will buy quality product. The claims (todays news in the UK is a disaster - see thread elsewhere) that piracy is killing music is so far wrong it is not funny - the industry is killing itself with shitty product.