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Digital sales allegedly slowing

January 25, 2011

Have a read of this BBC news item: Digital music sales ‘slowing’

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) says that in 2010, digital sales only rose by 6%. Note: sales didn’t fall – they just didn’t grow as much as they would have liked. Remember that, because there are regular news releases by the music industry saying that sales are falling. They can’t seem to decide what the truth is.

Other sources, of course, point out that these reports only refer to the big labels and their owned ‘indie’ labels. In fact, overall music industry sales are higher than ever in history. It’s just that it isn’t their companies making all the money. A great percentage of the music being made is being sold by artist-specific labels or directly by artists. Have a look at Addictech, Beatport, Juno Download etc. How many of their artists are on major labels? How many of their sales are being counted by the people who wring their hands while reporting the death of music?

Despite the fact that music is perfectly healthy, the industry still blames ‘piracy’ for the decline in sales of traditional hardcopy products such as CDs and now the slowing down of the profit that they’re actually still making in digital sales.

The article says:
The group also warned of the challenges facing the industry from piracy, with 95% of music downloads made illegally.
‘As an industry we remain very challenged,’ IFPI Chief Executive Frances Moore told the BBC. ‘Some 95% of intellectual property is stolen.’

Firstly, how can anyone know how much material is ‘pirated’? There is no possible way to know this. And as for intellectual property, do not the labels represented by his organisation take the copyrights and publishing rights of the songs written by their artists? Now that’s theft of intellectual property rights in my book!

Uncle Riotous

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