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Real Cause of Low Audio Sales, Not Piracy
detokaal
post Oct 4 2004, 03:17
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"The music industry likes to complain about sales lost to piracy, but figures that show huge sales declines only tell part of the story. Before we blame this trend on infringement, we have to make several assumptions, including that the demand for music (whether purchased or pirated) has remained steady."

Nice, easy-to-read, tables of current and projected media consumption here:

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Grey
post Oct 4 2004, 20:16
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If those numbers are correct, Americans are spending an average of 10 hours per day using any of those types of media!
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tev777
post Oct 4 2004, 20:36
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The reason sales have decreased is because now when you hear a song you like you can go in the store and listen to the rest of the album before you waste your ~$15.


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matth6546
post Oct 4 2004, 20:50
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^that, and the only music on mainstream radio is the same crap played over and over again.
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dsiebenh
post Oct 4 2004, 20:52
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I don't pirate music. I'd be happy to give the music industry a lot more money, but the fact is that music today is being made (for the most part) by people looking to get rich rather than people who love the music. It shows.
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Canar
post Oct 4 2004, 21:08
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I've stopped speculating on the "real cause" of "declining" audio sales until I take further training in Economics, as the situation itself is probably quite beyond simple modeling.

My observations are thus: people listen to more music now than ever, people are content with 128kbps MP3 (often with IMO ear-splitting artifacting), and people are only exposed to a very limited arc of the musicosphere thanks to current popular music sources. Furthermore, that arc seems to be generally very shallow musically (devolving now in many cases to rhyme w/ simple rhythm, in otherwords r&b/rap).

That chart is misleading; people often combine music with other activities. I'd estimate I listen to 6 or more hours of music a day. Most everyone in my suite in residence listens to one or more.


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ToMo
post Oct 4 2004, 22:19
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The main reason is that most people don't listen to music which has the value as the art form. The most popular music genres are not art, but just bussines, and for average listener, music is just form of entertainment, and most people prefer FREE entertainment. That's what the piracy is all about.

I don't condone the rigorous acts that organisations like RIAA does, but I don't aprove the acts of mp3 and other digital forms of music either. MP3 has turn people into CYBER HAMSTERS. The majority don't have much musical taste anyway, but when they can get something for "free" they totaly loses any criteria.

To me, a original disc with music that suits my specific taste, is never expensive. I figure it as a permanent value, like books. People which use only mp3 and similar music and don't buy original media at all (that's the whole idea about preset: standard IMHO), are cheating themselves.
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ak
post Oct 4 2004, 23:18
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In another words they make more money on posters, t-shirts, whatever sorrounding fetishes they come up with than on cds. It must be pretty tough task to promote vast majority of crap being released otherwise, leave alone to make people buy cds.

Same story with cinema IMO, they only keep releasing new ones to boost popcorn sales...
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manusate
post Oct 5 2004, 00:17
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AFAIK, music sales have NOT been decreasing at all on these p2p years. Rather the opposite, people buys more CDs now than ever, at least of indie labels I know. Maybe the big names (you know, Madonna, Britney or Metallica) are selling less, but no serious annalyst would blame 'internet piracy' just like that. That's silly.

Industry backed Radio-formula (or MTV and the like) doesn't work as it used to in order to increase sales of certain bands/artists. People is not forced to listen to whatever the industry wants anymore; Napster changed that. And portable mp3 players confirmed the swing.

On the pre-internet era, we had to discover new bands via tapes that our friends thoroughly recorded for us. Thanks to internet, our friend pool suddenly grew A LOT. Great, huh?

It's a wonderful life and you are living it.



Enjoy!
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Artemis3
post Oct 5 2004, 00:26
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Another reason is that the Recording Industry (as it is) is not needed anymore. The technology has gotten cheap enough for independent artists to produce, promote and distribute their own works without selling their souls anymore. The system is just trying to delay a lost battle as much as they can, even declaring 3/4 of the world population as criminals in the process.

The only pirating here is done by the Recording Industry, slaving people and forcing their conditions upon artists and listeners alike.

Their business model still works to this date because they seized control of the traditional distribution and promotion channels; and are deseperate trying to gain control of the new system (the net). They also oppose and fight to death anything that treatens their priviledge, such as alternative/community radios (low power fm).

Their marketing and propaganda machinery has sold the idea that without them there would be no music. But nothing is so far from the truth. In fact, the world has done just fine before they came, and will do after they leave.

Interesting links to study:

File-Sharing: It's Music to our ears
Saving the Net
copyright and globalization In the Age of Computer Networks
Courtney Love does the math


So it might be, that people is just learning the facts and has started to decide with their pockets, since they can't voice their opinion to the politicians that made those "copyright" laws.


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matth6546
post Oct 5 2004, 01:39
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QUOTE (Artemis3 @ Oct 4 2004, 06:26 PM)

wow. after reading courtney love's page, i almost don't want to buy another album again because it would just support the label. however, i'm not settling for crappy mp3's on p2p networks.
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Canar
post Oct 5 2004, 02:32
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Courtney Love... wub.gif blush.gif


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RockFan
post Oct 5 2004, 03:00
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Being of a paranoid dispostion, I find the fact that governments (notably that of the US) have recently become so sympathetic to 'entertainment industry' lobbying somewhat worrying.

We may be seeing the proverbial 'thin end of the wedge'.

Many of the 'solutions' proposed involve the use of what amounts to 'spyware' (remember the RIAA suggesting they should be able to arrogate the right to delete MP3 files remotely?).

In our world of 'infotainment', legislation for 'digital rights managemant' could be used as a surrogate strategy for gaining complete access to every (privately owned) PC on the internet.

RF.
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Cygnus X1
post Oct 5 2004, 05:19
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[rant mode]

This Gen-X'er can tell you why record sales have been declining in recent years: most of today's music SUCKS, especially if you're 25 or older. Where are the Pink Floyds and the Jimi Hendrixes? Will any of today's music be listened to in 20 or 30 years? Time will tell, but I'll probably still be listening to music that came out around the time I was born. DRM and file-swapping is just a red herring. So much for innovation laugh.gif

As for Brittany and the rest of her stupid blonde brethren, I suggest a solution: have a record-burning festival at a baseball game, like they did in the summer of '79 with the "disco demolition" in Chicago. This time, though, we could call it "Ditzo demolition." It's about time somebody starts releasing decent records; between the awful sound and awful 'artists,' I'm not sure they can possibly get much worse.

Shit, today's music is so bad as to almost make disco listenable. Not that I'd ever stoop that low, of course laugh.gif

[/rant mode]

This post has been edited by Cygnus X1: Oct 5 2004, 05:24
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WmAx
post Oct 5 2004, 05:38
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QUOTE (Cygnus X1 @ Oct 4 2004, 11:19 PM)
[rant mode]

This Gen-X'er can tell you why record sales have been declining in recent years:

[/rant mode]
*


To be fair, I have not seen conclusive evidence that record sales are actually *down*, other then RIAA reports(Credible? Uhm, yeah right.). A real source of information would be SoundScan, if they would only release this information publicly. Their was an article on the net a few months back where SoundScan represenative made comments on 2003-2004 sales, and that their was no decrease, but you would have to search for that to find the specific information/details. Unfortunately, that was little info and it seems unusual for them to release their data publicly. Does anyone know where to get (Nielson) Soundscan data from the past few years?

If sales were down for *real* -- I say: so what? That's business. Make a better product. Innovate it. FInd a better business model. They have NO right to attack consumer fair use rights by trying to get crap passed like the INDUCE act or using garbage like DRM that attempts to hinder FAIR USE purposes, etc..

-Chris

This post has been edited by WmAx: Oct 5 2004, 05:39
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dev0
post Oct 5 2004, 06:55
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This might be slightly OT, but on the debate of popculutre vs. 'art':
Zur kritischen Theorie der Popkultur
Im Interview mit Roger Behrens
(German only, sorry)
read
listen


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PoisonDan
post Oct 5 2004, 08:39
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@ToMo: Thank you for a most excellent post. I completely agree, and couldn't have said it any better myself.

@Cygnus X1: There is still lots of excellent music to be found nowadays, but you need to do a bit of searching, and definately look beyond the music that's in the charts. And yes, I'm also a huge Pink Floyd fan, and I'm also over 25.


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evereux
post Oct 5 2004, 08:45
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QUOTE (PoisonDan @ Oct 5 2004, 07:39 AM)
@Cygnus X1: There is still lots of excellent music to be found nowadays, but you need to do a bit of searching, and definately look beyond the music that's in the charts. And yes, I'm also a huge Pink Floyd fan, and I'm also over 25.
*


Agreed and in the same position. Music is just as exciting as it ever was, I use the music press as my rough guide.


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Grey
post Oct 5 2004, 08:53
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QUOTE (WmAx @ Oct 5 2004, 12:38 AM)
To be fair, I have not seen conclusive evidence that record sales are actually *down*, other then RIAA reports(Credible? Uhm, yeah right.).
*


I haven't seen anything credible either. BMG states that in 2001, worldwide music sales decreased 5% (Is that even a significant amount?). Of course, sales figures from previous years aren't noted, so we're unable to establish any kind of trend. For all we know, sales figures could've been steadily declining long before piracy was an issue.

http://www.bmgcopycontrol.com/uk-ireland/index.html

BMG credits the IFPI as their source. Why do you suppose they don't make detailed sales figures available to the public on their website?

http://www.ifpi.org/site-content/publications/rin_order.html
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bugmenot
post Oct 5 2004, 13:18
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QUOTE (matth6546 @ Oct 4 2004, 04:39 PM)
i'm not settling for crappy mp3's on p2p networks.
*

<edited by moderation> provides us with the exact same quality of music that can be found on CD's, i don't blame you for getting angry at low quality mp3's, 128kps is pretty crap, and they call it CD Quality blink.gif
Anyway who cares about CD sells? how much of that money does the actuall band GET?
If i spend $30 on a CD, i bet that less than $1 would go to the actual band... so what's the point? i'd rather download it, have the exact same quality and expierience the bands music, after all artists don't make music for money, they do it for the fans don't they? well in theory anyway wink.gif
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MugFunky
post Oct 5 2004, 15:06
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here's a tip:

- download the album (lossless if you like)

- send the band a cheque for $10 and a letter explaining that you downloaded their album and liked it so much you thought you'd send the profits to them directly.

if only there were a better system out there than PayPal, we could all do this and completely stick it up the labels. remember, we don't need them anymore, and the more noise they make, the more their customers will hate them.

btw, i'm all for a record-burning ceremony too (but i actually really like the kitsch appeal of disco music, and i'm not ashamed to say it).

QUOTE
Will any of today's music be listened to in 20 or 30 years? Time will tell


there's an interesting song about ephemeral fashions that reminded me of that... it's a new song, too (but musically there's much better out there). TISM - the birth of uncool. btw, don't pirate this album, as my friend authored the DVDs for it, and it's not a major label doing it, but a small company working with the band.
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Lev
post Oct 5 2004, 15:22
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QUOTE (MugFunky @ Oct 5 2004, 03:06 PM)
here's a tip:

- download the album (lossless if you like)

- send the band a cheque for $10 and a letter explaining that you downloaded their album and liked it so much you thought you'd send the profits to them directly.
*

Aye, done this a few times.. smile.gif

(note that the albums in question were unpurchasable, unorderable, and not in existence according to the lovely likes of HMV)


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WmAx
post Oct 5 2004, 17:40
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BMG's claims almost sound comical(at least too me). Not one shred of conclusive evidence..... okay.

I find it especially interesting that [1]]BMI(the represenative of more then 50% of the songwriters, composers and music publishers in the USA) recently posted claims to record profits this year, with huge profit increases every year for the last 9 years. Even if downloads hurt sales of CDs(not proven), then the diversification of collecting revenue sources for the products(copyrights) certainly is successful, referring to BMI's report of ever-increasing profits. Though, it seems that BMI's profits are small compared to the RIAA, since they are the actual distributors of phonorecords(and horde almost all the profit - leaving little to actual artists).

-Chris

[1] BMI Reports Record Revenues and Royalty Payments for FY2004
http://bmi.com/news/200408/20040818a.asp


QUOTE (Grey @ Oct 5 2004, 02:53 AM)
QUOTE (WmAx @ Oct 5 2004, 12:38 AM)
To be fair, I have not seen conclusive evidence that record sales are actually *down*, other then RIAA reports(Credible? Uhm, yeah right.).
*


I haven't seen anything credible either. BMG states that in 2001, worldwide music sales decreased 5% (Is that even a significant amount?). Of course, sales figures from previous years aren't noted, so we're unable to establish any kind of trend. For all we know, sales figures could've been steadily declining long before piracy was an issue.

http://www.bmgcopycontrol.com/uk-ireland/index.html

BMG credits the IFPI as their source. Why do you suppose they don't make detailed sales figures available to the public on their website?

http://www.ifpi.org/site-content/publications/rin_order.html
*



This post has been edited by WmAx: Oct 5 2004, 17:44
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MugFunky
post Oct 5 2004, 17:54
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QUOTE
(note that the albums in question were unpurchasable, unorderable, and not in existence according to the lovely likes of HMV)


lol, like that time i asked for Electric Six, and the girl clicked at the keyboard for a few seconds and said "we've got Electric Light Orchestra"... it's kinda not the same thing smile.gif

if only finding good music was a matter of choosing a letter in the alphabet.
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ckjnigel
post Oct 5 2004, 18:36
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IMAO, optical storage disks, both CD and DVD, are obsolete. Reparations should be provided hapless users who wasted immense sums of money on the things.
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