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Music Industry Thriving In an Era of File Sharing

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the told-you-so dept.

Music 174

levicivita notes ZeroPaid coverage of a recent study by the UK music industry's own economist showing that overall UK music industry revenues were up in 2008 (study, PDF). The study is titled "Adding up the Music Industry for 2008" and it was authored by Will Page, who is the Chief Economist at PRS for Music, a UK-based royalty collecting group for music writers, composers, and publishers. From ZeroPaid: "[T]he music industry is growing increasingly diverse as music fans enjoy a wide range of platforms to hear and consume music. Sales of recorded music fell 6% for example, digital was up 50% while physical dropped 10%, but concert ticket sales grew by 13%. In terms of what consumers spent on music as a whole last year, this surprisingly grew by 3%."

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Bike, nigga stole my bike! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28848331)

adddriaaannnnn

Oh come now... We know this can't be true. (5, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848363)

The recording industry has lost [CARL-SAGAN] Billions and BILLIONS [/CARL-SAGAN] due to those Evil Content Pirates(tm)!

Re:Oh come now... We know this can't be true. (4, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848521)

Not to forget those who pirated non-evil content. :-)

Re:Oh come now... We know this can't be true. (2, Interesting)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848675)

And all those bastards that aren't buying all the songs on an album. Really, just buying what you like and not taking what you don't want is just stealing from hookers and coke dealers. How will they feed their families without the support of the music labels?

In other news... (2, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#28850071)

The Chief Economist of PRS was found dead in his home, apparently of autoerotic asphyiation, with ropes tied around his neck and completely naked.

The UK police are stumped. "We did find a card with the word 'RIAA' on it, but we decided to ignore it and call this a suicide. A sex game gone wrong." Outsiders call this a case of corporatism - the government and the corporations colluding to cover-up a murder. "It be fascism, that's what it be," said a local man who refused to identity himself.

Re:Oh come now... We know this can't be true. (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848823)

I thought they were more worried about the pirates contented with non-evil.

Re:Oh come now... We know this can't be true. (2, Funny)

Hammer (14284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848553)

Come come... You are getting confused here...
What on earth does the recording industry have to do with the music industry ???

File-sharing has dropped in the UK (4, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848583)

I like how both the article and the Slashdot submission completely ignore that file-sharing has dropped in the UK [arstechnica.com] , especially among teens. Though I know this was posted on Slashdot to give pro-pirates the idea that sales are thriving in spite of piracy, this story doesn't disprove the effect piracy has on sales--if anything, it bolsters the idea that sales go up when piracy goes down.

Re:File-sharing has dropped in the UK (5, Insightful)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848773)

I don't know about that one.

You're ignoring that there are better content delivery systems these days. Years ago you almost NEEDED to pirate if you wanted a digital copy (especially if you weren't a techie), these days you can buy from many online stores, DRMed or DRM free.

I'd say you're putting the cart before the horse. Piracy has dropped because there's more choice for legal avenues. It's not that pirates have been busted therefore buy more legit downloads.

Re:File-sharing has dropped in the UK (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848891)

Years ago you almost NEEDED to pirate if you wanted a digital copy (especially if you weren't a techie),

You mean before songs were released on CD?

Re:File-sharing has dropped in the UK (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28849025)

Right, because I drive to the next city, find the store in the maze there and then, in the store, rummage through 248342 CDs to find the one I want. All the while someone is towing my car because one can't park that long in one spot. The store clerk then looks at me and pulls a price out of his ass.

Yeah, right.

Granted, Amazon does that better nowadays. But then it will take days to arrive, by which time I forgot all about it.

Re:File-sharing has dropped in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28849119)

If you knew what programs could rip music CDs and you were willing to convert them all to .mp3 in the '90s, you were a techie.

Re:File-sharing has dropped in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28849217)

Maybe GP is talking about that period of time where the record companies released these "CD"-format travesties that were impossible to play or rip on your computer without special software and some luck with your particular CD plater firmware. They stopped doing that luckily (at least over here in Belgium), probably because they pissed off about every paying customer they have.

Re:File-sharing has dropped in the UK (3, Interesting)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849345)

Not to mention all the people who're finally willing to buy digital media online (legally instead of allofmp3.com or similar sites) because you can get the files in relatively high quality, and without DRM. I can't wait until the first 99ct FLAC store opens...

Re:File-sharing has dropped in the UK (2, Funny)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848835)

I was considering moderating you as troll or flamebait simply because it was going against the traditional slashdot ideals. Good thing I already posted above.

Re:File-sharing has dropped in the UK (0, Offtopic)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848873)

(Moderation would have been a joke, of course)

Re:File-sharing has dropped in the UK (5, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849257)

Slashdot (or at least the segment you are referring to) is not trying to increase piracy, it's trying to reduce copyright, and one of the desired reductions is to make personal file sharing legal. If the artists are doing fine without the draconian laws some people are proposing then it supports the (Slashdot-approved) idea that we do not need those laws.

Re:File-sharing has dropped in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28849555)

And you are ignorning the fact that even though filesharing dropped it says recorded music and physical DROPPED along with file sharing. The overall increase was driven by different forms of consuming music. BIG FKN SUPRISE. Thats just what the consumers obviously been screaming for but the music industry seems to be obsessed with trying to tell ppl the FORMAT they must consume it in.

Re:File-sharing has dropped in the UK (2, Informative)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849975)

1) Correlation does not imply causality.

2) Who paid for the survey? Take a look at http://www.theleadingquestion.com/ [theleadingquestion.com] and you'll find prominent Warner Music Group, EMI, Sony and Universal logos on the front page. Do you trust them to be unbiased?

3) Even if the survey was fair, unbiased and accurate, it cannot distinguish between people who are aware of the RIAA's tactics and are no longer willing to admit to filesharing and people who have actually stopped.

Re:File-sharing has dropped in the UK (1)

tcr (39109) | more than 5 years ago | (#28850011)

Spotify is becoming quite popular at this side of the Pond.
It doesn't involve piracy, or music sales either...

Re:Oh come now... We know this can't be true. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28849003)

  Thank sites like myspace and playlist. Free "unintended advertising" for the win.
I see a cute chics site, I listen to cute chics song, I think.. @3@ this is awesome. I go buy it.
there is no more effective advertisement than word of mouth. intended or not.

the music industry will crash before too many decades though, imho.
everyone and thier baby cousin can produce now. it only takes a PC and an editor.

Singing is easy. Mark my words.
and they are goign to cry piracy to blame when it happens. but tbh.. I dont even like the radio today because its full of 1001 random idiot songs.
songs are too easy to make.

the industry is lucky that america is full of idiots that fall for ignorant lyrics and music.

Re:Oh come now... We know this can't be true. (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849957)

but tbh.. I dont even like the radio today because its full of 1001 random idiot songs.

Your radio plays 1001 different songs? The FM around here plays about 100 per station.

Re:Oh come now... We know this can't be true. (1)

ndavis (1499237) | more than 5 years ago | (#28850009)

The recording industry has lost [CARL-SAGAN] Billions and BILLIONS [/CARL-SAGAN] due to those Evil Content Pirates(tm)!

You misspelled Trillions, since the recording industry believes their sales should be higher then the global GDP.

Just imagine... (5, Funny)

narcc (412956) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848371)

How much greater would the reported growth be without losses due to piracy?

I'm guessing it would be something like 3 billion percent.

Re:Just imagine... (0)

Viktor Karlsson (1372741) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848535)

Why wasn't parent modded Funny but insightful?

Re:Just imagine... (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849083)

because he says the 'truth' or version of it as broadcast by RIAA and co.

Re:Just imagine... (1)

Viktor Karlsson (1372741) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849139)

Eh, yes - it should be considered as Funny rather than Insightful and now it's +5 Funny rather than +3 which I think is more suitable.

Re:Just imagine... (1)

Bashae (1250564) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849935)

Maybe because the joke is so good someone thought he deserved karma for it ;)

Re:Just imagine... (1)

Hammer (14284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848573)

That is a question we will never get the answer to.... But I know for a fact that I would not buy a CD of an unknown artist at the prices the charge. However... I will buy the CD of an artist that I hear and like.

no shock (2, Interesting)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848391)

the number of consumers out there probably grew by more then 3%, so i'd be shocked if there wasn't an increase.

recorded music is where the juicy profits are though, so profit wise i'm guessing they lost out.

To hear the accountants tell it (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848513)

An album hasn't turned a profit in twenty years. Otherwise they would have to pay royalties to the artists, which would ruin their business model.

Re:To hear the accountants tell it (5, Insightful)

Hammer (14284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848605)

Now would that be the same people who raised the price when the CD came "to pay off the investment"?
When independent economists calculated the price of a CD, on the shelf in the store, being ~10 cents less than the LP. That included paying off investment in 5 years...
Or is it the people who said that the prices would drop as soon as the market grew?
I am still waiting for the CD market to take off so the prices will drop ;-)
Or are we talking the guys who manage to set the price of a soundtrack CD higher than the movie DVD?

Re:To hear the accountants tell it (1)

sn00pers (1005173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849043)

The cost of the media is not even note worthy. You're not paying for a piece of plastic. You're paying for the contents on it. Those contents cost hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars to produce an put on that piece of plastic. The cost of living has gone up. You don't complain that a gallon of milk costs more than it did when you bought records instead of CDs do you? The cost of everything goes up because of inflation. The cost to produce a record has gone up as well. Pricing is not magic. They don't pick some random price and have a committee on it. The prices SHOULD go up. Just like in every other industry in the world. But for music you want the prices to go down even though the costs for the producers goes up.

Re:To hear the accountants tell it (1)

Hammer (14284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849171)

That was the whole point of the post.... The recording industry raised the price in the CD because it was so much more expensive to produce the CD.... As they claimed. When reality was that it was indeed cheaper and that was when greed took over the recording industry

I agree that price change on end product should reflect changes in production costt. But the recording industry used the novelty of the CD to jack the price 40-50% while the actual cost went down a percent or so

Re:To hear the accountants tell it (1)

shark72 (702619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849435)

I remember those days in the 1980s, too. At a time when LPs could be easily had for $10-$12, CDs were $18. That's the equivalent of about $34 in today's money. They charged this much because people were willing to pay.

Even as recently as the turn of the centuries, CDs were about $18 -- they hovered around $18 for a good 15 years or so; inflation took care of the cost-downs ($18 in 2000 dollars is roughly $22 in today's money).

Today, most new CDs can be had for about $10 or $12, or about a third of the price they were in the 1980s. Over 20 years, of course, the salaries of just about everybody involved in the production of the CDs has increased by about 3x.

If you're still waiting for CD prices to come down, or if you're bothered by industries that set pricing according to the curve, you'll drive yourself crazy.

Re:To hear the accountants tell it (1)

Hammer (14284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849691)

That is nice for you... Here the price of a CD was SEK ~130 when introduced while vinyl hovered @ 80. Now a new CD is SEK 180-190
So I stand by my statement...

Re:To hear the accountants tell it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28849239)

If the cost of media is not even note worthy, then tell me: why was the price of a CD HIGHER than the price of exactly the same content on vinyl?

Why the prices did not dropped to the same level as vinyl when the production process became cheaper - as promised?

Sure - prices always go up, but CD's where far hinger priced than vinyl to begin with. They did not drop the price as promised. They do not even keep the price on the same level to compensate - no it stayed on this higher level - and that's what Hammer is talking about.

If it was only about the content vinyl and CD's would be at the same price, but they never where. They used the introduction of the CD's tho thrive up prices with the promise prices would be more fair and more reasonable later on. A promise they never kept!!!

Re:To hear the accountants tell it (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#28850203)

>>>When independent economists calculated the price of a CD, on the shelf in the store, being ~10 cents less than the LP. That included paying off investment in 5 years...
>>>

Yes but even more damning - when the U.S. Federal Trade Commission investigated they discovered that the record companies were colluding to prop-up prices, and threatening discount stores like Walmart, "Sell for $12 and higher, else we'll cut off your supply to all music-related items." The U.S. FTC filed charges of forming an illegal cartel.

The companies knew they were guilty, so instead of letting the trial finish, they offered to give a refund to all consumers that asked for one. The FTC agreed and I got an $18 check, ditto my mother, and ditto my brother.

That was circa 2002. Shortly thereafter, after the cartel had been broken-up, the prices of just-released CDs at Walmart dropped as low as $8.

Re:To hear the accountants tell it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28848619)

[[citation needed]]

Re:[[citation needed]] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28848951)

Here you go:

An album hasn't turned a profit in twenty years. Otherwise they would have to pay royalties to the artists, which would ruin their business model.[1] [wikipedia.org]

Inflation? (3, Interesting)

hoarier (1545701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848419)

The report does tell us:

Make no mistake; the live music industry grew in 2008. More events, more bands, more tickets and importantly, higher ticket prices. Breaking it down to basic supply and demand economics, and given the scarcity embedded in its model, the live music industry is somewhere you really want to be right now.

My emphasis.

Perhaps the figures include all the tickets all those suckers bought for the triumphant London return of the "king of pop".

Or maybe this year's new music isn't as boring as last year's (I pretty much gave up buying CDs when I found they were all bland and soporific).

That's quite a report, in its gushing marketingese. I note with delight that "heritage act" has supplanted "senior citizen" as the euphemism for "old age pensioner" or "old geezer".

Re:Inflation? (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848679)

Perhaps the figures include all the tickets all those suckers bought for the triumphant London return of the "king of pop".

The report considers 2008 revenue, so that's before the Michael Jackson concert in London was announced.

I go to lots of gigs, and I've noticed ticket prices seem to have gone up slightly.

Or maybe this year's new music isn't as boring as last year's (I pretty much gave up buying CDs when I found they were all bland and soporific).

About 2% of the CDs I own are stocked by a normal record store. You don't have to limit yourself to the most popular stuff.

Re:Inflation? (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848907)

I'm pretty sure that most people do.

People still buy music. (1)

Knoeki (1149769) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848425)

The music industry needs to realize that people are still willing to buy music if they really like an artist and want to support him/her/them.

Re:People still buy music. (1)

think_nix (1467471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848703)

Thats been my motto these last few years _if_ I buy physical media. Usually I first visit website from bandX see what merchandising deals they have with whatever partner webshop. More times than most you can get some really cool stuff at a decent price e.g. limited extras, and or editions etc etc. Recently I actually bought a special from one of my favorite metal bands which had a exclusive 2 disc set along with a DVD in the case with some recent and past videos for 15$ incl. shipping and handling (that was most expensive part) . They even stated if you buy through our partner webshop most profits go directly to them. Well justified 15$ imho, with around 3 hours of content plus videos.

Re:People still buy music. (1)

think_nix (1467471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848739)

oh yeah I forgot to mention no DRM and the artwork on the cover is just bitchin' ;)

bullshit! (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848427)

This is bullshit! I am sure file sharing and the free exchange of information represses interest of anything if not everything... hold on..

Long story short... (5, Insightful)

KneelBeforeZod (1527235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848455)

The money flow is going the way it should. More about the artists and less about the publishers. And at better prices. To gain recognition, artists aren't required to sign away all their rights to a giant publisher anymore.

What's the Cause? (4, Interesting)

brit74 (831798) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848463)

Wow. I guess piracy really doesn't hurt the digital content industries.

Oh wait. Two caveats:
(1) "Sales of recorded music fell 6%" (which means other digital industries that don't involve giving concerts shouldn't expect comparible results).
(2) A recent (July 13, 2009) study of UK piracy says "The analyst firm published a study on Monday that showed the numbers of those who regularly file-shared had dropped by a quarter between December 2007 and January 2009. The trend was particularly pronounced among 14-18-year-olds -- at the earlier date, 42 per cent were file-sharing at least once per month but at the latter date only 26 per cent were doing so."
Source: http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/jul2009/gb20090713_439306.htm [businessweek.com]

Re:What's the Cause? (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848591)

My guess is that the kids just got smarter. You don't brag about filesharing anymore. No matter how much a study is allegedly "anonymous".

Re:What's the Cause? (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848707)

I wouldn't be surprised if filesharing is down. A few years ago if I heard something new that I liked (e.g. in a nightclub) I'd find out what it was, and at home search for a torrent.

Now, I just type the name in to Songza.com (or Last.fm).

Re:What's the Cause? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849047)

I'm more a YouTube person. Yeah, I'm not hip anymore, I go with the masses now.

Re:What's the Cause? (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849129)

http://songza.com/ [songza.com] is a music search engine that indexes YouTube and Imeem. You can search for a specific track, but it's also useful to search for an artist and let it play through a load of their songs (I do this at work sometimes, as I limit myself to legally purchased music on my work PC).

Re:What's the Cause? (5, Insightful)

Draek (916851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848643)

So you're saying that, when illegal file-sharing dropped, so did actual sales?

Re:What's the Cause? (1)

dirk (87083) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849747)

So what you are saying is that in an anonymous survey, you believe those that responded to it lied in the section about downloading, but then were completely honest everywhere else? You can assume the responders were truthful for the entire survey or lied for the entire survey, but it is just silly to assume they were truthful for all of the survey except for the portion you don't agree with. Either the entire thing is legit or throw the whole thing out because you think the results are false, don't try to ignore the portions you disagree with while still tauting the other parts.

Where the profit goes. (4, Insightful)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848481)

Ticket sale money doesn't line the same pockets as CD sale money (for one, the artist gets a cut).

Re:Where the profit goes. (2, Insightful)

PerZon (181675) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848531)

When you can fit a million people into a concert then you can compare figures. Its good to see artists sweat n work for their millions. Almost anyone can spend a week in front of a modern PC and bang up a reasonably audible production.

Re:Where the profit goes. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848651)

Its good to see artists sweat n work for their millions. Almost anyone can spend a week in front of a modern PC and bang up a reasonably audible production.

I'm finding it a bit of a struggle. Perhaps if you'd supply a link to your magnum opus it would inspire me...

Re:Where the profit goes. (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848677)

That is the rason I believe that the , currently, over privileged artists should get their money mainly from 2 sources:
A) Commercial music usage
B) Live concert ticket sales
And movie "stars" should get to do real work, like acting in a theater. I mean, anyone can whip up a good scene when you have 200 takes, but when you're in a theater, that is the place where you have to really work.

Re:Where the profit goes. (1)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848715)

Absolutely. I was pretty impressed by this video [youtube.com] that my son created, the music all recorded in his basement.

Re:Where the profit goes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28848539)

Don't count on it. Hollywood accounting has permeated the industry.

Re:Where the profit goes. (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848587)

Finally, the system is starting to return to balance. Less money to greedy executives pushing Brittany Spears, more money to creative artists.

Re:Where the profit goes. (1)

think_nix (1467471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848771)

kind of funny you say that really. Ever notice that most of these new so called "stars" almost always have a one hit wonder then you never hear about them again ? This is one of the problems with MI wealthy sick executives just want to milk sound X , pushing it to the limit until its sold out people dont want to hear it anymore then they start with the next "star". Rinse , repeat, profit. Except that today people don't want to pay for that one hit wonder crap.

Re:Where the profit goes. (1)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849169)

Of course. Copyright encourages one thing and one thing only, and that is to find the one hit in a thousand and milk it for all that it is worth.

And for that one hit, talent plays a small quite small role. usually it is just a matter of a combination of doing the right thing at the right time and having the right contacts, and when luck strikes you can leverage it all and become a multi billion dollar business. Ok, that would be software. But it functions in much the same way as the music industry, although even more drastically due to businesses wanting software homonisation.

Meanwhile, everyone but the few at the top is left with a smaller part of the total revenue share, and will sell their products using real value adding. The reason filesharing is so hated by the big companies is that they focus on selling things without value adding as selling just the copy is more profitable. And they can maintain the marketing needed to increase the likelyhood of hits. Therefore they are hurt more than the smaller artists that get a bigger percentage of their income from things like performances.

Re:Where the profit goes. (1)

sn00pers (1005173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849087)

The artist gets a cut of the album sales. And this is where their real income comes from more so that concerts. Most often they make no money from concerts and use it just to promote the album sales. Many pirates try to use examples of bands who do make money in concerts to claim that they all do and thus try to not feel guilty about stealing from artists. As if that by stealing you are helping artists. Artists are not being ripped off by record labels. There are bad deals from time to time, just like in every business. But trying to make up the claim that artists are getting ripping off by labels just to justify stealing from those artists is wrong. And the irony is that its ticket sales where artists really do get ripped off. Companies like ticketmaster abuse they monopoly.

Re:Where the profit goes. (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849563)

The artist pays production costs on recording sales (inflated costs too, you could build a studio for less than what the studios claim it cost to do the recording). Most artists lose money on record sales as a result, or make very little. Ticket sales are usually 10% of the gross, so even if you play a mostly empty concert you can still expect a check.

Re:Where the profit goes. (1)

shark72 (702619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849679)

"Most artists lose money on record sales as a result, or make very little."

Artists are not asked to contribute their own cash toward the production of a record, so they're not losing money. If an album doesn't sell well, the record company loses money, but the artist breaks even.

You are, however, correct about self-produced albums. If you produce and distribute your own stuff and put the production costs on your VISA card, your bank will still insist on getting paid whether your music makes money or not. The worst that a record label will do is drop you from your contract. Your bank won't be so forgiving.

AGAIN? (5, Insightful)

PerZon (181675) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848497)

From what I remember, the same increase was seen throughout the industry when Napster was at its peak.

The industry should be thankful for being able to reach a larger audience without having to pay the giant advertising costs!

Re:AGAIN? (0, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848597)

Oh, geez, not the ridiculous "free advertising" argument again. Let's throw out the other Slashdot cliches too, like "obsolete business model," "cultural revolution," and "MAFIAA."

Re:AGAIN? (1)

PerZon (181675) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848635)

If an artist drew a picture to advertise a product he would not receive fair cut in the product sales. Replicated non perishable merchandise is barley worth the ink its printed with.

Re:AGAIN? (1)

SavTM (1594855) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848819)

If an artist drew a picture to advertise a product he would not receive fair cut in the product sales. Replicated non perishable merchandise is barley worth the ink its printed with.

Also, barley is barely worth the price of the beer it goes into.

What do you get when there's a shortage of barley farmers and a surplus of beer drinkers? PBR

Somehow, the rules that govern beer-making are related to the rules that govern music production. I know, that's as clear as mud.

Re:AGAIN? (1)

mooterSkooter (1132489) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848975)

"Oh, geez, not the ridiculous "free advertising" argument again. Let's throw out the other Slashdot cliches too, like "obsolete business model," "cultural revolution," and "MAFIAA.""

Just because they are often repeated cliches, does not neccesarily mean they are untrue.

Re:AGAIN? (1)

Waccoon (1186667) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849031)

Back when I tried Napster, only popular artists has songs listed under their own names. Everyone else was "unknown".

One of the points of copyrights is to ensure credit. Credit does not necessarily mean profit. I would be plenty pissed if my art was circulating around the Internet, everybody liked it, and I had a ton of fans, and... nobody actually knew who I was. Don't even get me started about mis-credited works.

Napster was bad. Period. I couldn't find anything from my favorite obscure artists with that service.

Re:AGAIN? (1)

Sehnsucht (17643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849709)

Do you mean the original Napster? That's just due to cluelessness or laziness on the part of whomever ripped the tracks, that they didn't bother to properly tag the files. Things weren't as slickly smoothly automated back then.

Physical Media (3, Interesting)

jbfalek (1606989) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848567)

Interestingly it looks as though even though the physical products are not selling well people are returning or atleast partially embracing vinyl records

From Wikipedia -

"Figures released in the United States in early 2009 showed that sales of vinyl albums nearly doubled in 2008, with 1.88 million sold - up from just under 1 million in 2007."

Re:Physical Media (1)

z0idberg (888892) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848729)

Furthermore from the same wikipedia entry

"If these trends continue... eyyyyyy! "

The Money is going into the wrong pockets (4, Insightful)

defireman (1365467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848571)

The RIAA et al. is screaming about piracy not because money is not lining into pockets. The money is only being lined into the wrong pockets, and they don't like it.

Executives only exists to protect themselves. The facts don't lie.

Re:The Money is going into the wrong pockets (1)

Carlos Matesanz (1344447) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848997)

Fact is that at least here in Spain are artists themselves and not only our RIAA equivalent (known as SGAE) who are screaming about piracy, which acording to those numbers, is an absolute nonsense. They might be brainwashed or something.

Re:The Money is going into the wrong pockets (1)

shark72 (702619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849457)

The RIAA is a record company trade group. The SGAE is a performance rights group, representing artists. This is an important distinction.

Re:The Money is going into the wrong pockets (1)

Carlos Matesanz (1344447) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849501)

True, perhaps "equivalent" is too strong. But they still get money for doing nothing and share little with those represented artists, so they have something in common.

Re:The Money is going into the wrong pockets (1)

shark72 (702619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849649)

I'm not sure what you mean about "sharing little with the represented artists." Like the US's ASCAP and BMI, they're societies run by and for artists. Their entire mission is to look out for the artists' interests (much like the the RIAA looks after the interests of its members -- the record labels). Performing rights societies take some off the top for administrative purposes, but the bulk is paid out to artists. That's what these societies do -- collect money on behalf of artists.

In the US, many composers and songwriters make a lot more money off of performing rights than they do from music sales.

ASCAP lost the details of many artists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28849729)

and so couldn't find these artists to pay them the royalties owed them.

Such unknowns as "Dolly Parton"...

No.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28848607)

No shit sherlock.

Increase in profit due to price hike? (2, Interesting)

dg5 (442714) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848659)

Interesting statistic. I am all for pushing digital content out to the masses and being able to pick songs you like. I'd much rather buy a couple of songs that I like off an album and not having to fork out the bucks for the rest of the dross. It also creates competitive drive for artists and makes them dig deep into their creative juices or shell out the money for people who know how to produce stuff that sells better (whether of better quality or not).

But it would be interesting to do a follow up statistic on how much concert ticket prices have changed with the onset of the digital file sharing. I have certainly noticed the hike in prices over the last 5 years. I am sure there will be arguments about recession being blamed for it, and I am not denying it may be true. It would just be worth a second and deeper look into the profit stratas to figure out whether it's really digital file sharing that's causing the profits to soar or if it's something else.

Re:Increase in profit due to price hike? (1)

rdebath (884132) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848783)

... recession being blamed for it ...

The problem with that theory is that it would result in attendance dropping, in half empty concerts because there aren't enough people willing to pay the price hike. That isn't what's happening, the venues have been able to raise prices and still get the full house needed for people to come back to the next concert.

The only way that can happen, in a recession yet, is if even more people want to go but can't justify the cost.

So where do all these people find out about the concerts? I don't see any increase in big business advertising ... in fact I see a great deal of negative PR ...

Re:Increase in profit due to price hike? (1)

dg5 (442714) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848947)

That's a fair call indeed, my theory is flawed :-D

Well Good (1)

upto0013 (1144677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848681)

Well good, I can keep pirating music without feeling bad. But seriously, if the record companies caught on to the fact that people downloading music are doing so because they love music, not because they hate the industry, they could be making a lot of money. Lets say Atlantic records got their own paid torrent tracker and charged $20 a month to download albums at will. There would still be the super leeches taking 10-15 albums a month and after the first download it would be loose for everyone. But I know plenty of people that would pay the $20 a month, get two or three albums a month just because it's easier than navigating the spam and virus party that is bittorrent. When it becomes easier to buy music than steal it, people will actually buy it. But when I can get just about any album days, even months, before they are released in a matter of minutes, why would I go to the store which may or may not have it in stock even weeks after the release date. Until the record companies start seeking listeners where they live, they are going to keep floundering. Just look at iTunes, it took the record companies too long to figure out that people would actually pay the same amount for something that costs half what it does to produce a packaged album. Now some have and -- gadzooks -- people are actually buying more legal digital music. It'll be the same with torrents, hell, smart pirates are already charging for community-driven trackers and take requests for new content. Until then, I'll keep stealing music and spending that money on concert tickets and T-shirts. That way I'm actually giving money to all the actual band members in the bands that I never would have found browsing the local record store.

Re:Well Good (1)

sn00pers (1005173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849023)

You're saying that if people who steel then had the option of paying for a tracker instead of using a free one that they would then start paying money? Right now the service you speak of does exist. It's been tried many times and has failed. Because you simply cannot compete with free. The record companies ARE seeking listeners and they are using online methods. But again, nothing can compare with free. The record companies didn't figure out iTunes, apple did. And not much money is being made on iTunes. The reason Apple has iTunes is because it helps them sell iPods. They take a loss on music so they can sell hardware. The record labels HAVE started online stores and subscriptions just like you described. But they all fail because they can't compete with free. By stealing you are simply causing artists to have to be come trinket sales people. You don't want to pay them for their work, you want them to have to sell crap on the side so you can continue to steal from them. And you're stealing money from the band by stealing the records because they have to pay for that. In addition, by stealing records, there is then no money to develop artists. The reason record labels take a big chunk is because they have to fund all the artists that flop. For every successful artist you know of, there are 10-15 failures. No one can predict what will or won't sell. So they have to take risks. Piracy is the major reason why there isn't much variety in music these days. And it's the criminals who steal that are to blame, not the record labels.

Re:Well Good (1)

upto0013 (1144677) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849377)

And where are they seeking them? Social media marketing isn't that hard, and is insanely cheap compared to billboards and the like. Advertising on Mininova, Pirate Bay and other torrent sites is cheap. Getting in on Pandora and MySpace music players would be the best, finding people who want cheap or free but aren't tech-savvy enough for bittorrent. Advertise a free exclusive track for signing up for the trial, it's not that difficult to make people spend money -- it feels good after all. They can't compete with free if they're not actually trying. I think could succeed if they made torrents part of their business model instead of a quick test. Also, that crap on the side (concert tickets, T-shirts, buttons, etc.) actually goes to the band. Ask any recording artist, the bulk of their money comes from tours and crap sales.

Re:Well Good (3, Insightful)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 5 years ago | (#28850167)

The reason that the big record labels perpetuate the myth that new artists need to be 'funded' is so they can perpetuate the closed ecosystem where artists can't reach the public without signing away 90 to 100% of the profits to them. This is the real reason why the music industry are willing to make payola payments to distribute songs for free on the radio, but are fighting against the free advertising of their product by filesharing, although both forms of advertising generate sales - it's because they can monopolise the airwaves but they can't do the same with P2P. It's all about artificial barriers to entering the market.

Apple don't lose money on iTunes, they make a HUGE profit. They take 29 cents per 99 cent song, and have sold over 6 billion songs, do the math!

Not much variety in music? Go count the number of artists on iTunes, Mr Troll.

Re:Well Good (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849367)

I'd pay a lot more than $20 for something like that. All you can eat music without DRM? In high quality, properly tagged and with high-res album art? I'd live off Ramen if I had to in order to pay for that, and gladly!

Fsckin' moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28848881)

[T]he music industry is growing increasingly diverse as music fans enjoy a wide range of platforms to hear and consume music.

I do not fsckin' consume music, I listen to music. I consume food. Are MAFIAA pr flacks edible? Are they nourishing? Probably not. Odds on I won't consume them then.

It's not improving (0, Troll)

sn00pers (1005173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28848999)

As someone who works in the music business and works with the major record labels and artists I can tell you that most of the people in the business are now out of work of struggling just to pay bills. Most of the labels are out of business, most of the facilities are closing down, and many of the people in the industry are suffering. It's sad to see so many people touting stealing. I wonder how many would feel if people were stealing from them and taking pride in it. And most of the arguments people here are making are false claims that they are making up simply so they can talk themselves out of feeling guilty for stealing from other people.

Re:It's not improving (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849759)

I can't say I feel sad about record labels. I don't want labels. I want to pay to the artist and artist only.

It's sad to see so many people touting stealing.

It's not stealing, it's copyright infringement. Stealing would imply that the one stolen from actually loses something, instead of not gaining.

I wonder how many would feel if people were stealing from them and taking pride in it.

You can't "steal" from me because I charge by the hour. Please take my work and copy it all you want.

And most of the arguments people here are making are false claims that they are making up simply so they can talk themselves out of feeling guilty for stealing from other people.

I'd be buying from the industry, if it was willing to sell me something. Say, I hear Amazon is selling music. Except I can't buy it because I'm not in the US. You could start by getting rid of that stupid state of affairs.

Honestly, I despise the current industry, which keeps trying to push DRM and fees on my hardware, and "3 strikes" laws on my internet connection. I really wish it died already. I'm willing to even accept a complete lack of new music in exchange.

Piracy doesn't affect the economy (3, Insightful)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849033)

All money that's not spent on what is supposedly downloaded instead (rather than in addition to), is still there to be spent on other things. Other media, even.

Performance - not sales (3, Insightful)

DomHawken (1335311) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849193)

The PRS is the '_Performing_ Rights Society'. As the article says - 'Consumers spent less on recorded music, down 6% since 2007, but concert ticket sales have grown by some 13% as the industry as whole slowly evolves and adapts to digital distribution.'. They collect royalties for performances, not physical sales of CDs, or royalties from downloads, which are collected in the main by the MCPS (Mechanical Copyright Protection Service). The music industry in terms of the main labels remains slow to adapt, and the ridiculously high percentages charged by download services like iTunes (50% for smaller labels/bands in the UK, plus another 10% to go through a broker if they refuse to deal direct) means that bands are forced to play live as the only sensible source of income.

Casual connections. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28849333)

"Music Industry Thriving In an Era of File Sharing"

Not that anyone cares but the question that should be tacked onto the above is, "in spite of, or because of"?

They still don't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28849553)

People seem to miss the point, you can prove that piracy isnt hurting them beyond a shadow of a doubt, and they'd still wage the same war. Why? The real issue is p2p and the internet, and how both empower artists to become their own producers. You don't need a $100,000 recording studio anymore, you don't need to produce records to get music out there anymore, the RIAA knows this, and it scares them, as they know artists will start figuring out that they don't need greedy middlemen anymore who take 99% of the earnings for themselves (and try to push for 100%) This is the real issue. They don't want their little golden geese figuring out that they can benefit from their own eggs.

Nowadays with lower cost production hardware, computers replacing most hardware and replacing it on the software level, and the internet becoming a publishing medium with a very low barrier to entry, the "industry" isnt necessary anymore.

So in the end, this means shit. They will still tout the same battle cry until they get their way.

Nobody sees this as a tainted source? (1)

RandoX (828285) | more than 5 years ago | (#28849943)

The guy works for a group whose business is *collecting royalties* for artists. Of course he's going to say that sales are up, and his clients deserve more money. If he were saying that sales were way down and had less than 7 degrees of separation from the RIAA he'd be flayed alive. When his position supports the /. mindhive it doesn't matter what his credentials are.

I should know better by now, but I'm disappointed by you, /.ers.

It still sucks unless you're a high profile artist (1)

kitserve (1607129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28850093)

I'm told it's virtually impossible to make money running a small venue or festival. Moreover, the not-so-famous bands that tend to play at them are lucky to get travel expenses, never mind actually being paid to perform. The total revenue for live music may have gone up, but I'm willing to bet it's all gone to large venues and famous artists through (in my opinion) ridiculously high ticket prices.

It seems likely that the same is true, though perhaps to a lesser extent, of recorded music: small indie labels (e.g. Sotones [sotones.co.uk] , with which I'm loosely affiliated) don't tend to see a lot of revenue through direct sales of recordings. Most of the sales go through the big online stores, and they tend to promote the big/hyped acts, just as the big retail stores do.

This isn't to say things aren't changing in the music industry, but I wouldn't get too excited about the ascendancy of live and independent music just yet.

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