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Music Industry Sees First Revenue Increase Since 1999

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the doom-and-gloom dept.

Music 393

Zaatxe writes with a bit of news about the music industry; sales are slightly up (basically flat). From the article: "The music industry, the first media business to be consumed by the digital revolution, said on Tuesday that its global sales rose last year for the first time since 1999, raising hopes that a long-sought recovery might have begun. The increase, of 0.3 percent, was tiny, and the total revenue, $16.5 billion, was a far cry from the $38 billion that the industry took in at its peak more than a decade ago. Still, even if it is not time for the record companies to party like it's 1999, the figures, reported Tuesday by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, provide significant encouragement. 'At the beginning of the digital revolution it was common to say that digital was killing music,' said Edgar Berger, chief executive of the international arm of Sony Music Entertainment. Now, he added, it could be said 'that digital is saving music.'" Because CDs aren't digital. CD sales are declining, and being replaced by the sale of lossy files. I wonder how much more money they could be making if they'd just sell folks lossless music on the open market (not just iTunes) since at least that's all that keeps me buying a CD or three a year (I own way too many CDs personally, and stopped buying music until discovering Bandcamp and easy lossless downloads rekindled my desire to find new stuff).

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393 comments

Keep your guard up (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year ago | (#43023569)

Make no mistake about it, the music industry still DREAMS of going back to the days when they could charge you $15 for a CD that you had to buy just to listen to one lousy song. Turn your back on them, and they WILL try to go back to a similar model.

Re:Keep your guard up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023813)

No, they remember that time fondly, but what they really desire is a return to the good old days. The days where you paid $20 for a casette (or worse) that had one track you wanted to hear and was slowly destryoed by the mechanical interactions used to read it.

Re:Keep your guard up (2, Insightful)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#43024141)

I think a large part of this is a generational change; there was a whole generation inculcated into downloading Ace of Base on napster; new kids use official channels. Tis bodes well as the original generation becomes old dogies who don't buy music anyway.

Re:Keep your guard up (2)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#43023857)

Turn your back on them, and they WILL try to go back to a similar model.

I think you have that backwards, there's been plenty bands who have refused to be part of the online/streaming business or backed out again and the results seem pretty much unanimous. They try going back to a similar model, and the customers turn their backs on them, either they fire up their P2P clients or just play one of the many songs who are easily available that the band doesn't make it a PITA to pay for. If you think that any more than a few die hard fans will go out of their way to buy your music, you have a huge overinflated ego.

Re:Keep your guard up (2)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year ago | (#43023875)

Isn't the music.industry thriving, and It's just the recorded music industry struggling (like the article says)?

I'd think large parts of the music industry most definitely do not want to go to the old ways (venues for example benefit greatly when disposable money from music fans doesn't go to CDs).

wrt to your Sig, I remember neither, but the photos I've seen of the 60s don't paint a pretty picture, and are why I put civil rights and non-judgement as very high political priorities.

Re:Keep your guard up (4, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#43023969)

Exactly, these numbers are only for recorded music. While CD sales are dropping, ticket sales soar. And as musicians get a bigger cut from live performances, everybody is happy except the middlemen who have been cut out and a thin elite of top musicians who hoped they could retire at the age of 30.

Re:Keep your guard up (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about a year ago | (#43024017)

Yep, many times in these sort of reports they do not figure in digital sales, only "albums", so they sell a shit ton of a single song but in the final report it's only the albums that are counted and they appear to be hemorrhaging money; then claim to need more protection for their "failing" business model, even though they are swimming in money.

Re:Keep your guard up (5, Insightful)

bedroll (806612) | about a year ago | (#43023897)

What's missing from the article is a comparison of actual sales numbers. The RIAA members are bringing less revenue in but selling more music. That's because people are paying less and digital suppliers are taking a larger cut than traditional retailers. That's what the whole digital revolution was really about, people reacted not just to free music, but to the greed and abusive pricing models of the industry.

Another piece that's missing from the article is that independent music sales now make up a far larger portion of the industry. While some of these numbers are likely to be included in a report like this, many of them are not because the independent artists are not members. The overall music industry may well have eclipsed 1999 revenue a few years ago, but we wouldn't know because only the label revenues are counted.

In short, I think you're right. The industry pines for the days when buying a copy of their works required a physical copy, not just because of bundling though.

Mod parent up! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023971)

This is it!

Re:Keep your guard up (2)

Eraesr (1629799) | about a year ago | (#43024015)

All I worry about is that the RIAA and their kin will interpret this news as their witch hunt on piracy is finally paying off, and all they need to do now is increase their efforts tenfold with even more invasive and restrictive measures.

The Big Labels Still Do Want to Charge You That (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year ago | (#43024021)

Make no mistake about it, the music industry still DREAMS of going back to the days when they could charge you $15 for a CD that you had to buy just to listen to one lousy song. Turn your back on them, and they WILL try to go back to a similar model.

The people who once wanted to charge you $15 for a CD still want to charge you $15 for a CD. If you actually read the article, it's not the "big five" or any of the RIAA members that they're talking about movin' on up. Instead it's distributors like Apple’s iTunes Music Service, Amazon MP3, Spotify, Rhapsody and Muve Music. Google will join them eventually. But you're not going to see UMG, Warner, Sony/BMG, etc because they're still fighting these models. It's just turning into a really slow and long and painful turnover process as the money changes hands. Singer songwriters and performers are learning they don't need big labels as their music will pretty much advertise itself on social media and YouTube. That means the only big guys feeding off them are the distributors listed in the article. Time will tell if the distributors will hang around or continue to undercut each other (since it doesn't appear to be contractual and exclusive like label contracts). But one thing is for sure: more money is making it into the hands of a more diverse group of musicians. And the industry is more diverse and healthier because of that.

Re:Keep your guard up (2)

operagost (62405) | about a year ago | (#43024155)

Make no mistake about it, the music industry still DREAMS of going back to the days when they could charge you $15 for a CD that you had to buy just to listen to one lousy song

The market drove that change. The recording industry started off selling single songs (and later, two) on cylinders and 78 RPM discs, then 45 RPM vinyl, then cassette singles, then CD singles... then nothing, because the cassingles and CD singles weren't selling anymore. The cassingles were popular for about four years, and the CD singles never were.

Media distortion (4, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year ago | (#43023595)

Just you wait! Five years will pass and the RIAA will claim this event was the result of the six strikes ISP rule. Given enough time, a little historical revisionism is all it takes to cascade the "truth" to your favor.

Re:Media distortion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023861)

Just you wait! Five years will pass and the RIAA will claim this event was the result of the six strikes ISP rule. Given enough time, a little historical revisionism is all it takes to cascade the "truth" to your favor.

No joke. That's the first thing I thought of too. Perfect timing. They'll credit their new laws for the "increase" in revenue.

digital killing music (4, Interesting)

yincrash (854885) | about a year ago | (#43023597)

Only happened because the music industry absolutely refused to sell DRM-free music for a decade. No one wanted to buy music that could go obsolete when the store went away.

Re:digital killing music (3, Insightful)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | about a year ago | (#43023831)

Music industry =/= Recording industry

In fact, the music industry has been doing just fine on the whole, and was largely unaffected by piracy. The recording industry (aka the RIAA and goons) have been suffering, rightfully so

Liberated by Bandcamp (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year ago | (#43023607)

I own way too many CDs personally, and stopped buying music until discovering Bandcamp and easy lossless downloads rekindled my desire to find new stuff

Yes, I've commented on bandcamp [slashdot.org] many times on Slashdot [slashdot.org] and have been using it for years now. Actually when this article came up I was listening to an album released on 06 February 2013 by a relatively unknown artist half a continent away. They're asking $7 for a 6 track album which I find to be a little pricey but the music is good. I think I'll listen to it a few more times before I decide if I want to buy it. That's something you'll never find the RIAA doing and although I'd found bands that did it on their sites and a few independent labels do it but Bandcamp centralizes it. I've seen independent labels just dump their whole catalog on Bandcamp so it must do something for sales (Boston's Top Shelf Records [bandcamp.com] just did it and I've been enamored with Slingshot Dakota who I had never heard of before).

I think Bandcamp is close to how an ideal music market should operate. Their selection algorithms and rating listings needs serious work but everyone can play and you select your quality when you download.

Re:Liberated by Bandcamp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023803)

I think Bandcamp is close to how an ideal music market should operate. Their selection algorithms and rating listings needs serious work but everyone can play and you select your quality when you download.

I use Bandcamp, iTunes & Amazon. Bandcamp is by far the best option on all sides of the stakeholders that matter. By "stakeholders that matter,"
  I mean producers and consumers.

Agreed: "close to how an ideal music market should operate"

Re:Liberated by Bandcamp (1)

karnal (22275) | about a year ago | (#43023887)

In my five minute review of Bandcamp, it seems pretty awesome. My biggest issue when it comes to music sites like this is finding content - whether it be similar to another artist, or in a correct category (no "progressive" category, I noticed...)

I'll probably spend some more time with it later, but I haven't really found anything by randomly clicking around yet.

CD's ARE digital (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023629)

Last time I checked, CD's are digital. Did that change? Are CD's now analog?

Re:CD's ARE digital (-1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#43023663)

Digital in the technological sense. The quote was speaking in a business sense. The two fields have very different meanings for the word. In business, 'digital' could be defined as 'decoupled from a single physical medium.'

Re:CD's ARE digital (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43024085)

There is no "different senses" of words. A CD is digital, period. A casette is not. the business idiots have to learn the language like anyone else. A CD is "physical" while an .ogg is not . . .

Re:CD's ARE digital (2)

Engeekneer (1564917) | about a year ago | (#43024111)

I have to agree with the GP. Calling CD's non-digital is stupid in any sense. It is a) factually incorrect, b) uses the wrong term for the wrong thing, c) confuses anybody who knows anything about the issue. If you want a name for decoupled from a physical medium, why not go for virtual music sales (which sadly would be ironically accurate too).

Or why not call it downloadable/streamable music or online music sales or whatever else? Even if nitpickers may argue that online music sales basically contains CDs ordered from e.g. Amazon, it's much clearer and more correct.

Re:CD's ARE digital (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023691)

No, he was referring to LPs.

Re:CD's ARE digital (1)

TooTechy (191509) | about a year ago | (#43023743)

Perhaps he means the possession of a CD in the binary sense.
Either you have one in your hand, or you don't (the bush ate it).

But yes, the content of the CD is digital. The actual disc exists in the real world.

Re:CD's ARE digital (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023787)

Are CD's now analog?

To be pedantic about it, actually CD's have always been analog... and all digital audio is also analog, because what is stored is an analog of the original audio waveform, just like the ridges and bumps in the groove on an LP are an analog of the original waveform. But conventionally, we use the term "digital audio" for anything that uses digital samples to store and recreate the waveform.

Re:CD's ARE digital (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43024019)

Are CD's now analog?

To be pedantic about it, actually CD's have always been analog... and all digital audio is also analog, because what is stored is an analog of the original audio waveform, just like the ridges and bumps in the groove on an LP are an analog of the original waveform. But conventionally, we use the term "digital audio" for anything that uses digital samples to store and recreate the waveform.

This is true. Mod parent up, and plz mod all the superfluous subsequent "yes CD's are digital" comments redundant.

Re:CD's ARE digital (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43024055)

In that sense, nothing is digital, because it is all an analog of something...

Or maybe that is just you equivocating, because that is not the meaning of that word relevant to electrical signals and storage media.

Re:CD's ARE digital (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43024087)

Ask yourself why analog media is called analog media in the first place. Just because CD's are digital doesn't mean that what they store isn't also analog. GP did preface "to be pedantic about it," — idk, maybe you missed that.

"We want to be last to market" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023631)

Actual quote from executives there. Then they prosecuted, lobbied, internationally legislated any and all innovation out of existence. And they wonder why they have such trouble generating revenues from new markets.

I think these numbers are still better than they deserve. Burn in hell, executives.

"Because CDs aren't digital." (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023639)

Wait, what?

Re:"Because CDs aren't digital." (2)

boarder8925 (714555) | about a year ago | (#43023719)

For once, that's not incompetence on the part of Slashdot's editors. I think it's actual sarcasm.

CD sales != Digital Sales. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023731)

It's called "context", dear boy.

Lossless Files (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023641)

I wonder how much more money they could be making if they'd just sell folks lossless music on the open market

Most people don't understand what this even means, let alone actually care. All they know is availability and cost, along with how many songs they can fit on their iDevice.

Re:Lossless Files (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023723)

Right, but are the folks who don't care about the file format going to care whether they get it from iTunes or the pirate bay either?

Re:Lossless Files (5, Funny)

Rufus Firefly (2379458) | about a year ago | (#43023757)

More to the point, I listen to my music in my car piped over the interwebs through my phone through my bluetooth through my car's stereo to 105.1 on the dial. I don't really give a rat's ass about "lossy," I care about whether the tune rocks, or whether my kids want to hear a particular song off teh server (subsonic, ftw). I suppose if I were sitting in a dark room wearing huge 70s style headphones while masturbating with my monster cables, AND I were a dog so I could hear the difference, I suppose that "lossy" would make a difference...

Re:Lossless Files (1)

Turminder Xuss (2726733) | about a year ago | (#43023833)

So the introduction of better quality formats might push down the price of formats acceptable to you, what's not to like ?

Re:Lossless Files (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year ago | (#43023913)

But the ones that do know probably are over-represented as music consumers.

I personally think this small bump is due to a baby boomers population echo, I'm not entirely sure, but I think '06 was the largest highschool graduating class, which would mean the tween population is starting to grow again (or more slowly decline). 25 year cycle, means the year 18 year olds are at there most, six year olds are at there recent least, 6 years later, record sales are up...

Geekthink (4, Informative)

danaris (525051) | about a year ago | (#43023927)

I wonder how much more money they could be making if they'd just sell folks lossless music on the open market

Most people don't understand what this even means, let alone actually care. All they know is availability and cost, along with how many songs they can fit on their iDevice.

Exactly.

I hear this repeated in every thread on a geek site about music revenues, but it's so plainly silly. They're leaving hardly any money on the table by not selling lossless music on the open market, because only a vanishingly small minority of consumers have a clue what lossless music even is, let alone care enough to pay extra for it.

So many geeks really, really need to either get out into the real world, or at least watch some non-geeky TV shows (or, heck, even the non-geeky people in the geeky shows; Penny in Big Bang Theory is a decent example...), to see how the vast majority of America's (and the West's in general) population thinks. It has very little to do with studying all the technical aspects of something and deciding carefully which choice has the greatest benefit for the least cost.

Until they do this, they will continue to be frustrated and baffled by the things that succeed and fail in markets, and what's even offered. (Once you understand how people think, you may still be frustrated, but at least you'll be less baffled! :-D )

Dan Aris

CD's Not digital (3, Informative)

Danathar (267989) | about a year ago | (#43023645)

"Because CDs aren't digital."

Uh..yes, they are.

Re:CD's Not digital (3, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#43023697)

"Because CDs aren't digital."

Uh..yes, they are.

At the quantum level isn't everything?

Re:CD's Not digital (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023753)

Are you stupid or something?

How old are you, son?

Re:CD's Not digital (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023955)

Quantum? I thought everything's strings now.

Re:CD's Not digital (1)

fa2k (881632) | about a year ago | (#43023805)

I was trying to work out whether that was sarcastic or not. I think it is, in response to the use of "digital" in the quote, because it would be a useless comment otherwise

Re:CD's Not digital (1)

fa2k (881632) | about a year ago | (#43023879)

(just to clarify, I was referring to the comment "Because CDs aren't digital.(period)" in the summary. I think the submitter already adressed this, to prevent the "CDs are digital" posts, but not in the most effective way)

Re:CD's Not digital (1)

fermion (181285) | about a year ago | (#43024035)

Also, the 'lossless' 'lossy' thing really kills me. It is like people paying double for Monster cables.

Music is recorded for the type of playback devices that are going to be used. Right now the playback device is an iPod. It used to be tapes or CD. In the long ago it was a turntable with seperate amplifier and huge speakers. Before that is was an integrated unit playing a wax cylinder, the same unit was used to record a bunch of people playing and singing as loud as the could into the microphone/loudspeaker.

Vinyl records were very lossy. Most people played them so much, and the commercial stuff of somewhat low quality, that sooner rather than later the grooves would degrade or they would get scratched. We would deal with it until a greatest hit album came out and we would buy the same music all over again. Or we buy a single and buy the same music all over again.

The industry made money by selling tracks with a limited lifetime repackaged in different forms. So when we talk about the decline of revenue, what we are talking about is selling of tracks that do not degrade over time. They may be 'lossy' in that they are reprocessed once into a computer file, but after that there is no loss incurred in playing the music or transfer the music to different playback devices, as is the case when we recorded Vinyl or CD to tape so it would be more potable.

The death of the music industry has little to do with the internet. It has to do with the way that CDs were sold, as a forever album, and the ability to move music to the computer with almost no generational artifacts. That means tracks were bought once, and likely never again.The only greatest hits albums I have are stuff that I only had on Vinyl. I have a couple live recording from before the Internet, during the CD phase, but that are the only duplicates track I have.

THis is why the music industry is failing. They never really figured out how to make money when most people only buy a track once. The only thing the Internet really did was reduce the number of tracks that most people bought from an album of 10-15 to singles. I don't really see that the reduction of a single fro $3 to $1 is an issue due to efficiencies in recording technology and the retail chain.

dumbass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023647)

CDs ARE digital. Only a metrosexual would think digital=file.

Napster (3, Insightful)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about a year ago | (#43023657)

Funny how the initial release of Napster coincides with the start of the music industry's doldrums (1999).

Re:Napster (3, Insightful)

pr0t0 (216378) | about a year ago | (#43023823)

What's maybe more interesting is that there are now so many methods to purchase music online now, that people born at or shortly before Napster have never really known a world in which it wasn't easy to get digital music through legal means, free or otherwise. Back in 1999, the RIAA wouldn't let go of the old models of selling music or explore new ones. Although I don't know Fanning's real motivations, I believe one of the reasons for Napster was to address the need for digital music in a marketplace absent of options.

There will always be a segment that wants their music for free, but I think that number is ever-shrinking. In 1999, people were starving for downloadable music. Now it's commonplace so obviously digital sales increase and piracy declines. It's what the users of this site have been saying for more than a decade.

You mean closure of Napster. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023949)

They had their peak when Napster was running.

They dropped revenues significantly soon after Napster was shut down.

artists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023669)

More useful figures and numbers would be:
- how much money goes to the artists then and now.
- the curve for profit next to the curve of revenue

Quality? (2)

GWRedDragon (1340961) | about a year ago | (#43023681)

Anyone else think this may be due to a poorer quality of music signed with the labels? I know everyone always thinks things were better 'back in the day', but that doesn't make it not true.

Good (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43023685)

'At the beginning of the digital revolution it was common to say that digital was killing music,' said Edgar Berger, chief executive of the international arm of Sony Music Entertainment. Now, he added, it could be said 'that digital is saving music.'

Isn't this what everyone at Slashdot have wanted? Adapting the music business to the modern world and new practices. Now we are getting there.

CD sales are declining, and being replaced by the sale of lossy files. I wonder how much more money they could be making if they'd just sell folks lossless music on the open market (not just iTunes) since at least that's all that keeps me buying a CD or three a year

There should be no problem including a FLAC as a download option, and that is what should be done. The full audio master image wouldn't be a bad idea either.

Music never needed to be saved. (5, Insightful)

fermat1313 (927331) | about a year ago | (#43023687)

"At the beginning of the digital revolution it was common to say that digital was killing music," said Edgar Berger, chief executive of the international arm of Sony Music Entertainment. "Now, he added, it could be said 'that digital is saving music."

"At the beginning of the digital revolution it was common to say that digital was killing the music industry," said Edgar Berger, chief executive of the international arm of Sony Music Entertainment. "Now, he added, it could be said 'that digital is saving the music industry."

FTFY

This is where they just don't get it. Music has never been in danger. Nothing in the industry has or will stop people from making and performing great music. They aren't concerned with saving music, just their cut of music.

Compact discs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023699)

Er, CDs are digital. Vinyl is was an analogue CD looks like.

Re:Compact discs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023991)

I think in people's heads computers and internet just give the better mental image of ones and zeroes rather than CD, which is just a shiny disc.

"Because CDs aren't digital" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023703)

Seriously?

Re:"Because CDs aren't digital" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023741)

whoosh

Re:"Because CDs aren't digital" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43024003)

No, that was sarcastically.

Easy sale = vinyl + CD/MP3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023707)

Its very very simple... Show any one of your "plugged in" friends who have been listening to distorted MP3's the same song on vinyl through a decent stereo, and they'll probably buy one.
 
After that, do like the black keys, and many others, do... Include a CD or MP3 with the vinyl since a CD takes pennies to make, and you don't even have to do that if you're working with someone who just downloads their music. Doesn't matter if its pirated or from the apple store - both take that tad bit of time to download.
 
Guns are like piracy; we'll never seen the end of them. However, there are some very intuitive things you can do to reduce the harm they do.

Re:Easy sale = vinyl + CD/MP3 (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43024249)

Show any one of your "plugged in" friends who have been listening to distorted MP3's

Who listens to distorted MP3s anymore? LAME -V0 or nothing.

Hey look! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023733)

We're morons but we're making money so fuck you!

You could power an entire wind farm (5, Funny)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about a year ago | (#43023747)

...with the turbulence created from "CDs aren't digital" whooshing over the ACs heads.

.

Re:You could power an entire wind farm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43024255)

Referring to CD quality as "lossless" is also pretty impressive.

Are you idiots for real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023781)

0.3 percent is a fucking rounding error, this is less than meaningless.

In related news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023785)

The buggy whip industry still suffers from a continued slump.
I don't understand why an industry that had seen a large part of its service become obsolete, is expected to keep its income.

For all you jackasses... (1)

Rufus Firefly (2379458) | about a year ago | (#43023797)

I'm sure that the poster is quite aware that CDs are digital, he/she is just unaware how to difficult it is to convey vocal inflection through writing.

Lossless for the general public (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023801)

No one gives two fucks about lossless audio except us nerds and anyone that makes music. The only reason to even own lossless is if you plan on converting into lossy formats such as OGG or MP3. Besides, no one is going to put lossless on their phone/music player because of two reasons: 1) the files are enormous for the small amount of space you have on an SD card/flash storage and 2) the DAC in your phone/player will not be anywhere close to being able to output a sound where FLAC would be noticeably better than a 320 MP3 (not to mention the frequencies that you can't humanly hear anyway.

Re:Lossless for the general public (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023843)

Forgot to add that another reason to own lossless is if you are producing music, you want to create the lossless master file using lossless source files. Anyone who makes lossy masters should be burned at the stake.

Re:Lossless for the general public (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a year ago | (#43023931)

You mean, like the recording industry does? Lossy vs lossless formatting is moot unless you are recording the music yourself (producing doesn't imply recording), since any available samples are so lossyfucked that even in a lossless master, they aren't any better quality than lossy.

Re:Lossless for the general public (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43024045)

No one gives two fucks about lossless audio except us nerds and anyone that makes music.

So sell a lossless copy and make more money from nerds. Profit.

I'm old, Pandora + youtube is enough for me (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023809)

Since I'm old now I don't need music on all day like I used to. So occasionally putting on pandora is good enough for background noise, and if I feel the need to hear something specific youtube has everything.

(adjusts onion) I remember not caring at all about napster when it first came out and being happy buying used CDs from the local shop. Then metallica had to make a big deal out of it and I checked it out. And that was the end of my music purchases forever. The concept of paying $18 or even $5 for the used version to get access to a few megabytes of data seems so foreign now.

I ripped my cd collection into a few gigagytes of files then gave it away, since I can get back anything I want to listen to whenever I want. I doubt I'll spend another dime on music for the rest of my life.

Re:I'm old, Pandora + youtube is enough for me (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43024145)

While I'm not mega-old yet myself, I also find that the crave to listen to music has significantly decreased as I've grown up. It's not explained away simply by saying that the music is crap these days, as I think there's lot of good stuff around.

Re:I'm old, Pandora + youtube is enough for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43024233)

Libraries are a great source of compact discs, just waiting for you to rip into mp3s. Just sayin'...

Overall music sales are up (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023827)

Revenue from albums? Actual sales are way up and have been for years:

Here's the 2012 report:
http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120105005547/en/Nielsen-Company-Billboard%E2%80%99s-2011-Music-Industry-Report

Overall sales
2012, 2011, Gain
1,661 , 1,611 , 3.10%

Even album sales are up in that report.

Here's their Canadian one from 2009 (couldn't find the US one)
http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100204007048/en/Nielsen-Company-Billboard%E2%80%99s-2009-Canadian-Industry-Report

Same thing, total tracks sales are way up, album equivalent are also up. (See the 'overall album sales' +2%).

The price hasn't gone up, so the only way revenue has gone up, is if Apple and Walmart and the rest have paid out more of their income for the music.

Don't forget about vinyl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023845)

While sales of cds keep dropping, the sales of vinyl keeps rising. Granted, we're talking about total sales of somewhere between 4 and 5 million units last year, but when you look at some of the prices these companies are charging for vinyl ($16 is the low end, the high end can be $30+), they're making a lot more money off of record sales per unit than cd sales per unit. That has to counteract just a little of it.

Good (1)

JWW (79176) | about a year ago | (#43023867)

Now they can stop treating their customers like criminals. Right, right??

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43024185)

Yes. This is where it ends.

"music industry" KILLS music.. MUSIC ISNT A RECorD (0)

cenerentolo (2817897) | about a year ago | (#43023877)

music is a living thing that people started to enjoy on a solitary basis starting with the recording industry.... KILLING the performer's career. the classical music world is about shaking the air.... not tricking the same memory cord in the brain over and over and over again...... music is something that is done between the audience and the performer. the "music industry" has callously and with horrid taste, molded our society, our lives, our morals and our values all the while selling us AT BEST a second rate product. a little girl in her pigtails at a piano recital is a better musician than any playback machine.. recordings are at best portraits of music.....

"(not just iTunes)" ??? (2)

fa2k (881632) | about a year ago | (#43023979)

What's this "(not just iTunes)" in the summary, do they sell lossless DRM-free music on iTunes? If so, that's amazing! We can't really whine about the music industry then, any geek on slashdot should be able to hack together some VM or Wine to run iTunes, possibly easier than ripping a CD.

Re:"(not just iTunes)" ??? (2)

Ksevio (865461) | about a year ago | (#43024123)

Well they're 256kbps DRM-free these days, so that's pretty close. Not many can tell the difference - most that can are lying.

oops, I though that said "Pornographic industry" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43023983)

dang spell checkers..

Give me LP with digital copy (1)

mperegrim (2599503) | about a year ago | (#43023999)

I wish I could get a free digital copy with purchase of Vinyl, I love the sound of LP's but I also want digital for, the car, phone, etc etc. Amazon gives you a digital copy with CD purcahses but considering how simple it is to rip a cd, who cares.

Re:Give me LP with digital copy (1)

operagost (62405) | about a year ago | (#43024213)

Or you could just buy the CD, rip it through a graphic EQ with a logarithmic rolloff starting at about 13K and a sharp -15 dB cutoff at about 20 Hz, and loop in some surface noise off the lead in of one of your LPs. Then it will sound just like vinyl!

Music INDUSTRY has been fine (3, Interesting)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about a year ago | (#43024001)

I wrote this about a year ago. Copy/pasting because it's still relevant.

So, claims are regularly made suggesting that the music industry is failing, usually followed by claims that tougher laws are needed to protect the hard working people in the music industry.
Â
Small problem - it's not true.
Â
The music industry is not in as bad a situation as claims would suggest.ÂHere are some interesting statistics:
Â
Music publishing revenues are on an upward trend.
Worldwide Music Publishing Revenues (2006 - 2011)Â
http://grabstats.com/statmain.asp?StatID=69 [grabstats.com]
$8.0 billion (2006)
$8.3 billion (2007)
$8.6 billion (2008)
$8.9 billion (2009)
$9.1 billion (2010)
$9.4 billion (2011)
Â
Live music (concert) revenues are on a upward trend.
Worldwide Live Music / Concert Revenues (2006 - 2011)Â
http://grabstats.com/statmain.asp?StatID=70 [grabstats.com]
$16.6 billion (2006)
$18.1 billion (2007)
$19.4 billion (2008)
$20.8 billion (2009)
$22.2 billion (2010)
$23.5 billion (2011)
Â
The entire industry's revenues (*)Âare on an upward trend.
Worldwide Music Industry Revenues (2006 - 2011)Â
http://grabstats.com/statmain.asp?StatID=67 [grabstats.com]
2006 ($60.7 billion)
2007 ($61.5 billion)
2008 ($62.6 billion)
2009 ($65.0 billion)
2010 ($66.4 billion)
2011 ($67.6 billion)
Â
* The "entire industry" isÂdefined as "Revenues are for record labels, music publishers, recording artists, performing artists, composers, concert venues and merchandise, companies; includes revenues from sales of physical recordings, digital music services (online and mobile), music publishing and live music."
Â
Â
What is most interesting about these numbers is it supports what I have felt for a long time - the major players in the music industry have realized that CD sales are nice but that's not how to get rich - the big money (almost 2.5 times the money...) is in concerts. That is why acts like 'N Sync and Britney and Beiber and U2 and Lady Gaga and damn near everyone are regularly on tour. They've realized that people are spending more and more on actually going to the concert to experience the music. They realized that to be financially successful means touring a lot. CD sales makes one wealthy but a concert tour makes one rich.
Â
These numbers show that the music industry isn't failing. It isn't even shrinking. The _industry_ is growing, across the board. Yes, there are individual companies that might be suffering and there are individual bands that are suffering and there are probably specific geographic regions that are suffering but the industry, as a whole, is thriving - it is growing.
Â
One thing I do agree with the music industry, however, is that the internet is a big reason for this - we just disagree on the direction their profits are headed...

"Digital" never threatened music (2)

Andrio (2580551) | about a year ago | (#43024009)

It just threatened the Corporate Mafia that controlled every aspect of music and its distribution.

allofmp3/mp3sparks (1)

tippe (1136385) | about a year ago | (#43024041)

If they had just launched a service back in the early 2000s that was "legal", you could choose the encoding format of your choice (ogg, mp3, lossless, etc), the bitrate of your choice, could choose individual songs or full albums, and where prices were reasonable (in summary, a service much like allofmp3, aka mp3sparks), they could have saved themselves a lot of trouble and probably could have kept their business growing. Instead, they refused to see the light and change their practices, and others who actually provided those kinds of services profited instead. Serves them right for ignoring their customers...

Napster SAVED the music industry (3, Interesting)

jsepeta (412566) | about a year ago | (#43024083)

The diversity of available music is greater now than ever, as the industry has been evolving, albeit painfully for the older labels. Artists can make a living through hard work, not necessarily through CD sales alone. Hell, some bands make more money from merchandise than from music (I'm talking to you, KISS). This has been true since at least the 1990's when my band the Dharma Bums made a killing on t-shirts and realized that's where the money was.

Never once has the industry blamed CLEAR CHANNEL for fucking up music distribution. Yet through their domination of local radio, nationally, Clear Channel calls the shots, picks the hits, and generally limits the availability of interesting music by focusing on the "stars" it decides to popularize. This is far more insidious than dropping $100 off at the radio station so the DJ will play your new 45.

After Napster came out, the industry stopped selling CD singles and raised the price of CD's to $18 retail. This had a stronger dampening effect than free music downloads, as many of the people who were exposed to new music through downloads would eventually by cd's to support their new favorite musicians. Plus, one cannot claim that 1 episode of free downloading = 1 lost sale, as many downloaders would never purchase music to begin with (financial constraints, stick-it-to-the-man, live concerts not available for sale, etc). Yes, scientific studies showed that music sales went UP in college towns where Napster was popular.

I'm encouraged by new arrivals like BandCamp, SoundCloud, Gobbler, and other new musical tools for the web -- but discouraged by the shitty pay musicians earn from streaming dis-services like Spotify. As a hobbyist musician with many friends in the industry, I recognize that it's hard to make a living doing what you like doing, but for many of them, they have no choice -- music drives creatives to create. And that is what we should support -- the human spirit, not some fucking RIAA executive making $80k/year by prosecuting grampas and teenagers.

Let us not forget that the RIAA and MPAA have forced taxes on all Americans for blank media -- cassettes and CD-R's -- because they assume we're "pirates" who are stealing from them. Nevermind the fact that blank optical media is used for storing computer data that may not have any relevance whatsoever to their claim. Nevermind the fact that I'm more inclined to make cd's of my own songs than to dupe the latest Rihanna (will NEVER happen, boys, cuz I think she sucks #TaintedLove). The RIAA and MPAA have been nursing the public's teat for a long time -- it's time for them to grow the fuck up.

Lossy doesn't mean what you think it means (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#43024089)

All digitally encoded analog data is "lossy." Even CDs are "lossy." Any time analog is translated to a storage medium, there is "loss." Even high quality MP3s are considered lossy, but if I copy them from one device to another, the file does not change and nothing is lost. While it is true that the form of compression used to further encode MP3s is "lossy" or "lossier" the encoder (the person doing the encoding) most often determines the quality of the file. Most of the time, there is no effective loss at all. I just love that some people say "I can tell the difference." Most of the time, I call bullshit on that.

So for anyone who seeks to avoid "lossy" formats, please rethink your rationale. It's kind of ridiculous ... to a point.

Younger generation doesn't care (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43024121)

So, to start off with, I'm part of the transitional generation that is old enough to remember CD's, but young enough to have been in middle school when Napster arrived on the scene. Anyhow, I think that the availability of lossless won't do anything for music sales with regards to the younger generation of music listeners. All the people I know who are that into the experiencing of listening to music in a high quality fahsion just go with the vinyl and use the free mp3 download that often comes with vinyl for their casual listening. Everyone else just doesn't care and goes with mp3's if they want to own it. My girlfriend never buys any music and just streams things off of Spotify. I used to always buy an album on CD and rip it to mp3 but then I realized the CD's were sitting in a box and wasting space. I honestly can't hear the quality difference either. It seems like a waste of hard drive space to rip things to a lossless format to me.

Also, old Slashdot article about how younger people prefer the sound of mp3 over losless methods. http://news.slashdot.org/story/09/03/11/153205/young-people-prefer-sizzle-sounds-of-mp3-format

It's all what you're used to or the narrative surrounding the format (vinyl). What people prefer has little to do with science or logic. The mp3 is the standard format for an entire generation and the idea of "lossless" is an ideal that means little to them since they don't have a "CD" frame of reference.

Numbers are significantly skewed (1)

guruevi (827432) | about a year ago | (#43024215)

The industry as a whole makes a lot more money. This is just the revenue the classic industry (Sony, BMG, Warner, ...) sees, indie artists that aren't represented by the MAFIAA have been making a lot of money in the mean time, so much that indie artists and their labels are popping up all over the place and being profitable.

Why I stopped buying music (4, Insightful)

MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) | about a year ago | (#43024217)

In my younger days, I purchased vinyl 45 RPM singles for hit songs, and LP records for albums. For the car, most people used 8-track cartridges. They sucked, because the tape slides against itself internally, causing "wow and flutter". They also wore out as the lubrication was consumed. I was unusual because I'd record them to cassette tapes. Soon the 8-track got a bad reputation, and people switched to recording their own cassettes. The industry cried foul - we were "stealing" from them. Rather than selling multiple 8-track cartridges (due to wear), they only sold a single cassette or LP, and users would freely copy them. Oddly enough, sales rose.

When the CD came out, the industry raised the price about 50%, claiming it cost more to produce than vinyl records. We accepted that "fact", and repurchased most of our music collection.

A funny thing happened - the CD-R arrived. Suddenly we could make copies of a music CD for $1. People felt screwed. We knew the record companies screwed the bands, and we knew they were overcharging us, but charging 15 times the cost of a CD-R pissed a lot of people off.

Soon, we had a CD at home, and perfect copies at work, in the car and at the girlfriend's house. Wear it out? No problem - burn another copy. Find a new artist? Burn a copy for a friend. In theory, you'd think this would have caused a massive sales drop, since the earlier formats wore out and the CD did not. Yet, while the industry argued they were losing sales, it turned out to be the period of highest sales in history.

Then Napster and MP3 players appeared. Suddenly the industry was in a panic. The MPAA began an aggressive attack on downloaders, and sued anyone they could find as a scare tactic. Even though past history showed that sharing was a form of viral marketing, they wanted to kill it - perhaps because they have little control over it.

To my ears, nothing wrecks a song like Autotune (sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard to me) compressed to MP3. Most new music sounded too processed and too compressed. In a sea of over-processed crap, I'm finding it hard to find music I want to buy. So I don't.

The music industry doesn't understand the people like me buy music because my music-geek friends would share. Without that discovery vector, I'm simply not exposed to anything I'd buy.

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