Oh, how times have changed.
Miami used to drop mad loot on blow, an estimated $11 billion each year at the height of Magic City's cocaine days, according to some economists.
"In 1979, there was a $7 billion [cash] surplus from the Miami banks," former IRS special agent Michael McDonald said in a 2005 interview with New Times. "Absolutely unconscionable levels of money were pouring in here."
But that was 30-some years ago.
These days, the Big Mango spends its would-be drug money on salsa, dance tunes, and heavy metal. According to Amazon's inaugural "Cities That Rock" list, an "assessment of Amazon MP3, CD, and vinyl record sales," Miami leads the nation in online music sales.
Amazon's Top 10 Cities for Music Sales
1. Miami, FL
2. Pittsburgh, PA
3. Orlando, FL.
4. Salt Lake City, UT
5. St. Louis, MO
6. Cincinnati, OH
7. Seattle, WA
8. Ann Arbor, MI
9. Richmond, VA
10. Atlanta, GA
"The results of our U.S. Cities That Rock list showcase the diverse tastes of our customers and reaffirm why it's important to provide our millions of customers with access to the wide variety of artists and genres they want to listen to," VP of digital music for Amazon Steve Boom said in a statement.
"I think that having the ability to put out a product without investing in pressing and carrying inventory is great for lesser-known acts," says Miami musician and Day Music Died keyboardist Humberto Casanova. "It cuts our investment and lets us focus on making more music."
In 2005, Day Music Died spent upward of $10,000 recording and releasing CD copies of The Cardboard Score.
"To us, that album is beautiful; it's professional," DMD frontman Gabriel Fernandez told New Times in April. "It was a great experience; it was legit. You touched it. You felt it. You heard it. But we reach as many people immediately with the digital for less money."
Aiming to stretch its latest investment, Day Music Died digitally released its highly anticipated follow-up, Elephant in the Room, this past February, relying exclusively on online sales.
"We haven't outsold our first album yet," Casanova admits, "but we have sold more digital copies of this album than the first."
Still, Casanova thinks the shift in consumer trends is a good thing.
"I think that both [label and artist] win," he says. "Lesser-known artists get to post their material on a widely accessible medium for an annual fee plus 30 percent [in most cases]. Being that accessible has a price tag, but it's worth it."
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