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Online music piracy ‘destroys local music’

January 21, 2010

Another BBC article giving a music industry representative a chance to spread some misleading music industry spin:

Online music piracy ‘destroys local music’

The article says this:

It cited Spain as an example of a country which does not have laws in place to prevent illegal downloads. The sales of albums by local artists there have fallen by 65% in five years.
Federation chairman John Kennedy said the situation in Spain is now “almost irreversible”.

News for you John – it IS irreversible. The world has changed, your old business model does not work and never will again.


“Spain runs the risk of turning into a cultural desert,” commented Rob Wells, Senior Vice President, Digital, at Universal Music Group. Drastic action needs to be taken in order to save the Spanish music industry . In a market that is “rigged by piracy” it is non-English language music which suffers the most when the music industry tightens its belt added Mr Kennedy. This is because global stars such as Lady Gaga, who topped the digital download chart of 2009 with 9.8m downloads for her single Poker Face, are regarded as more secure investments.

It all starts off sounding like concern for local music and implies that filesharing has killed sales of local artists – but what they actually mean is something far more sinister; in a time when they’re not making as much profit as they used to, the record industry will put resources into marketing the likes of Lady Gaga before any local music. They will not sign, market or promote local music when such factory-produced supermarket-shelf-filling pap as Lady Gaga brings in bigger bucks from the the musically illiterate, easily manipulated general public.

Many of the local acts, the acts working in regional languages and niche styles, are doing just fine without these industry dinosaurs. They can now record, release and promote their music directly to their fans and prospective new fans without needing the services of old school record industry pimps.

So, the record industry is dying in Spain? Bueno! It’ll help protect Spanish and regional cultures from the devastation caused by the blandness and the creatively bereft, creeping death of all that is cool caused by the Americanisation of world culture.

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