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RIAA Almost Down To Pre-Napster Revenues

jamie posted more than 12 years ago | from the tiny-violin dept.

Music 799

Third time's the charm. Napster came out in 1999, and the Recording Industry Association of America had two great revenue statements for that year and the next. But now that CD sales finally are down year-to-year, at long last they get the chance to blame Napster for their woes. There's just one thing wrong...

...they don't have Napster to kick around anymore.

For yesterday's press release, the RIAA commissioned a survey by a research firm to prove that music-downloading is to blame, but all they tell us about it is that "23 percent of surveyed music consumers say they are not buying more music because they are downloading or copying their music for free." No more details provided, no link to the survey's raw numbers. So what does this mean? I guess 77 percent are buying more music because they're downloading it for free?

To put the new sales figures in perspective, a look at the big picture will be helpful. Free music-trading software had been in serious trouble since mid-2000. Despite indications that music-trading was helping sell CDs, the labels forced Napster to implement a name-blocking scheme. We ran a story in March 2001 pointing out that its traffic had fallen by 60%.

Then SF Gate ran a nice story last August, pointing out that declining RIAA sales seemed to mirror Napster downloads:

"At this point last year, with Napster in full swing, record sales were up 8 percent from the previous year. This year, sales of new albums -- not including established catalog titles -- are down 8 percent. That's quite a pendulum swing."

Sure, other file-trading software has taken Napster's place, but at this point it's fun just to watch the industry limp around after shooting itself in the foot.

Not that it's really hurting money-wise. All this week's numbers mean is that the RIAA's total revenue has declined almost to 1998 levels. In 1998 they made $13.71 billion; after peaking in the mid-$14-billions, last year they made $13.74 billion.

This probably is due party to the crummy economy, partly to their failure to find any new sound to co-opt and mainstream recently, and partly to lack of big artists releasing megahits like they did in 1999. You know music officially sucks when the labels have to pay someone $28million not to sing.

Oh, and partly due to the RIAA raising CD prices by $1.16, which is $0.25 over and above inflation (which has been higher than wage growth lately anyway). CDs are 94% of their revenue. Most industries, faced with declining sales, try lowering their prices. Not this one.

I've got two pieces of advice for the RIAA.

The first is to stop pissing off your own artists so much that they blow off the Grammys and throw their own party just to stick it to you. The musicians and singers are the ones making you rich. I know you think they're all interchangeable, but if you alienate them enough, when a new technology gives them an edge, they'll drop you like yesterday's sound.

The second is to reread Robert Heinlein's very first story Life-Line:

"There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."

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Fsirt Psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3077021)

Yahoo!!! if only I'd logged in!

Stupid... (4, Insightful)

SamMichaels (213605) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077025)

This is stupid...maybe the reduction in sales is due to paying $18 for a CD...because back when sales were up, it was $14.

Stupider (4, Insightful)

tiltowait (306189) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077030)

It costs less to make a CD than a casette tape. So why do CDs and DVDs cost more than tapes? Because it's what 'they' think the market will bear... wankers.

Re:Stupider (2, Insightful)

Bloodwine (223097) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077084)

I don't mind DVD's being a bit more expensive than VHS tapes. Atleast not the DVD's that is packed full of extras. Not to mention it probably takes alot of effort on the studios part to get some of the older movies looking good on DVD.

CD's on the other hand don't really offer much over cassettes other than superior sound quality and the ability to skip back and forth to songs. DVD's do this and more.

I don't buy cassettes anymore, but I wonder if CD's made cassettes any more inexpensive? I know VHS tapes have gotten alot cheaper to buy now that everybody is pushing DVD's. Of course it's interesting that they do that since as you mentioned it's more expensive to make cassettes.

Re:Stupider (1)

erasmus_ (119185) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077184)

And in many cases, DVDs are cheaper than CDs, which is just completely incredible. Walmart has so many DVD titles for $14.99, but go to any cd store at the mall and face 15.99 prices for music. As you point out, DVDs are harder to make b/c of all the bonus materials, not to mention they entertain you for longer each time. I still buy both, but cd prices are something that have irked me for years.

Re:Stupider (5, Interesting)

jspaleta (136955) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077219)

Where did I read this.....was it /....or maybe cnet?

Anyways...DVD's are at a turning point and there is a split in the ranks of the movie studies about how to handle DVD's inthe future. Extra bonus material is starting to cost way too much becuase actors and directors are starting to have pay for that bonus material getting written into contracts. So that extra 3 hours of behind th scense footage is now going to start costing studios real money to produce becuase the talent knows thats a revenue stream for the studies and they want a fair cut.

Also the licensing deal with BlockBuster is coming up for renewal....and it looks like BlockBuster isnt going to renew. The deal let blockbuster get advanced distribution of movies for rental before they were available for commercial sale...and the studies got a percentage of the rental take. Now it seems both sides of that deal are backing off. The studies think getting titles out quicker for sale is a good idea...and blockbuster is looking at the lower cost of stocking DVD making up for any lost revenue garnished by having a rental only window before full release. Both the studies and BlockBuster think they can make more money by selling cheaper...

More interesting still Warner Bros. is looking very hard at dropping the price of their DVD catalog through the floor...the idea being to get people to buy a DVD like they buy magazines in places like Walmart. Part of the reason is a lessoned learned trying to watching the record studies fight to keep control. If the price is low and reasonable...do people have less incentive still and more incentive to pony up the money....it seem like someone in the movie buz has woken up to the reality of file swapping...its always going to be there, the question is can you encourage people to buy instead of steal. If the DMCA is the stick....are $3 DVD's sitting in the checkout racks of your local Walmart the carrot?

-jef

Re:Stupider (2)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077163)

True. Very true.

And whats worse is the way they spin the whole situation. They manufacture CRAP "bands" like Brittany and N'SYNC, etc. They insist you are licensing the music, but won't replace damaged media. And they blame the whole "we're losing money because of illegal copies" on file sharing services instead of the purely digital format they release music on (CDDA). File copying and sharing whould still go on with the internet.

You aren't paying for the media. (2, Informative)

WindowsTroll (243509) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077214)

Yes it costs less to make a CD than a cassette, but that does not mean that the CD should be cheaper to the end user. Given a choice between a cassette and CD, if you have both a cassette player and a CD player, almost everyone will choose the CD. And since this is the case, there is more inherent value in a CD, so in a free market, the CD will cost more.

But, why would you choose a CD over a cassette? A cassette tape will stretch each time it is played - and rewound. Although you might not initially notice it, after 20, 30 or perhaps 40 times you listen to it, the tape will slightly stretch, and its ability to accurately reproduce the fidelity of the original recording goes down. As for a CD, play it all you want - its quality does not change. Because of the properties of the two different media, the CD has more value. And as in all things in a free market, if it has more value, you will pay more for it.

Re:Stupid... (1, Informative)

$0 31337 (225572) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077039)

I agree.... This article is mostly old news to begin with. I remember hearing about all of this information back when the metallica v. napster was in full swing.

Re:Stupid... (2, Interesting)

Cyno (85911) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077179)


Its not old news. This is hot-off-the-press and should be posted on the front page of slashdot for the next year. If the RIAA and record labels keep getting bad press maybe one day we'll watch their profits get cut in half to under $7 billion. That's still $7 billion above and beyond the cost of producing those CDs and paying off their artists. Seems to me like the artists should be getting that cash anyway.
I haven't bought a CD in almost a year. I used to not buy them at all, but while napster was going I figured I'd buy a few since all my friends where sharing their music with me and giving me mp3s. Now I'm boycotting again because most of my friends moved out of the area and even tho I have broadband I'm not interrested in downloading non-free music. There's too much negative land type stuff out there for free now, and every day more and more free music gets released. Hell, even all my stuff will be free... it'll just take me some time before any of it sounds very good. But the important thing for all of us to remember is music is fun.

Elasticity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3077128)

Ep = (% change of Quantity) / (% change of Price)

I guess The RIAA is finding out that their product is not as elastic as they thought they were. With so many smaller labels releasing such tip-top sounds, why would you want to buy from any billion dollar label?

Bogus pricing scheme (1)

Scratch-O-Matic (245992) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077162)

You touched on the exact point that made Napster such a hit: people are tired of paying $18 or more for 2 or 3 decent songs. The recording industry has become accustomed to selling an entire CD on the backs of 1 or 2 radio hits. Sometimes the tunes they use to fill the rest of the CD suck so bad that I feel like I've been deliberately duped.

I can count on both hands the number of albums I've bought (CD or otherwise) on which all or most of the songs were good. If I could pay to use Napster, I would gladly pay 2 or 3 dollars per song (I wouldn't download as much as I, errmm, people did, but I would still go for the same long-forgotten tunes that I loved years ago and could finally find and buy. In fact, Napster enabled me to locate songs and artists whose names I didn't even know. After tasting that kind of resource, nobody wants to pay $18 for the garbage any more (not to be confused with 'Garbage', for which I have paid money.)

Re:Bogus pricing scheme (1)

erasmus_ (119185) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077199)

I think Strokes - Is This It at Best Buy for 12.99 was perhaps the only cd purchase that made me not regret money spent on music this year. Radiohead Live and JayZ Unplugged were cheap as well b/c most consumers don't buy live music and they need to make an incentive for it.

Re:Stupid... (2)

blkros (304521) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077166)

Wouldn't this mean that sales are down even more than is represented by the survey, since they can sell fewer CD's to make the same amount of money. Ie., to make $40,000,000 at $14/CD they sold 2.857 million CDs; to make it at $18/CD they would only have to sell 2.222 million CDs. The numbers really do speak for themselves.
Yeah the higher price probably do result in less sales, but revenue itself is down, which means sales have nose dived, is it because of a price increase, or the fact that the music, in general sucks, and people aren't buying CDs because they can't preview(?)them?

Re:Stupid... (1)

nege (263655) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077224)

I agree - my friends and I talk about this sometiems. If CDs were say 10$ per CD I would buy them- I feel its worth that much. On the other hand just about any price above this does not meet my 10$ requirement. So I sometimes buy those "Laserlight Digital" Classical CDs that are like 8$. Back when CDs came out they were like 18$...they said the price was supposed to go down and that the reason they were so high was due to the new technology and they didnt know how to make them cheaper...oh well. I download my music now - I dont buy CDs. If I couldnt download my music - I STILL wouldnt buy CDs.

early post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3077027)

This early post is dedicated to Jin Wicked. [jinwicked.com]

Downloading Music (5, Funny)

blargityblorg (561807) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077031)

I have to admit that for the first time I began to believe the music industry had a point about piracy when I saw a grey haired woman pushing 60 in the coffee shop talking to her friend about all the music she'd downloaded on the weekend using Kaaza.

Re:Downloading Music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3077067)

But the question is: Would she have bought the CDs, had she not downloaded---or would they have no chance of getting money out of her, anyway?

Re:Downloading Music (1)

AA0 (458703) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077102)

do you seriously think that the woman would have ever bought that music if Kaaza wasn't there for her to use? People go and download free music because they can, it's fun to hear new stuff, and if they hear enough of it from someone, they may go get their CD at a store. Most people don't have CDRs to make their own music with.

There are some people that steal music, and end up not buying CDs because of it, but that is the miniority. It's also the people that come up to you, borrow your CDs, and make their own, before napster came along.
If I ever catch anyone downloading a whole album off me, I cut them off.

Re:Downloading Music (2, Insightful)

pacc (163090) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077221)


If I ever catch anyone downloading a whole album off me, I cut them off.

Admirable, and you never ever downloaded a whole album from someone else either.

Re:Downloading Music (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3077114)

What, you think you have to be a 20 year old male to violate copyright laws?

Re:Downloading Music (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3077139)

Fuckwit

Re:Downloading Music (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3077207)

fuck off

Re:Downloading Music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3077211)

And if she earns as much as my grey haired mother it's probably because her pension doesn't stretch to the high price of CDs.

As a vast majority the only CDs my mum owns are the ones I've bought for her.

first widener! (-1, Troll)

Klerck (213193) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077032)

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.have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .e

Re:first widener! (0, Offtopic)

Xilman (191715) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077204)

Cute!

Clever, but not very intelligent.

Paul

You've got the GOAT in YOU!!! (-1, Troll)

RoboTroll (560160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077033)


* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

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s`88888888|8888888888888|88888888\|8888888|88888 s

e8\8888888|8/8888888/88\\\888--__8\\8888888:8888 e

x88\888888\/888_--~~8888888888~--__|8\88888|8888 x

*888\888888\_-~88888888888888888888~-_\8888|8888 *

g0000\_00000\00000000_.--------.______\|000|0000 g

o000000\00000\______//0_0___0_0(_(__>00\000|000 0o

a0000000\000.00C0___)00______0(_(____>00|00/000 0a

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* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

From the annals of the Troll Library [slashdot.org] .

Economy (1)

BlueTooth (102363) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077041)

Is the RIAA the only organization not blaming their trouble on the "slow economy?" Everyone needs their scapegoat.

Re:Economy (1)

HCase (533294) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077053)

the mpaa. of course, they're using the same scapegoat as the riaa so i guess there not really being to creative in the scapegoats.

Re:Economy (3, Insightful)

Bloodwine (223097) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077055)

The MPAA is blaming everything and anything that can record television (but not the economy). Remember, Jack Valenti, head of the MPAA, was the genius in the 80's that was saying that VHS would destroy Hollywood and the movie industry.

Maybe it's just me Jack, but I beleive VHS not only helped the movie industry, but it also provided a new revenue stream (rentals).

Of course now he is at it again trying to control the digital medium while arguing that it will destroy Hollywood. Wow, what a visionary!

Re:Economy (1)

HCase (533294) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077096)

yeah, the vhs thing was a bit creative back in the day. but them seem to have lost it and are just jumping on the riaa's bandwagon right now. it'd be nice if they'd pick someone else so that we could at least hear 2 diffent bs complaints instead of having one run into the ground twice.

The economy blows (5, Insightful)

Bob Abooey (224634) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077046)

Plain and simple. People cut out the little extras when things go bad and CD's fall into that category. Plus most new music just friggin blows anyways. Really.

Re:The economy blows (0, Redundant)

Targetman (308365) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077061)

egads! I agree with you on every point.

Re:The economy blows (1)

karb (66692) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077186)

I don't know ...

Actually, I don't think the inexpensive luxury items suffer too much. I know that video games are considered pretty recession-proof, as are movie ticket sales. Unless you are a phile of one of the three, you probably get your amusement for pretty cheap. I'm a phile of videogames ;), but I probably only spend about $150 each on CD's and movies a year in good financial times. I wouldn't really have to cut back on that much if times were rough. It might increase, actually :)

I wonder what business-school they went to (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3077049)

exec1: Everybody is p2p-ing our stuff.
exec2: Lets fight them by raising prices.
exec1: Yes, that will surely work.

Re:I wonder what business-school they went to (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3077099)

I'm sorry, but if you knew anything about how microeconomics worked you wouldn't even have made a joke about it. Higher prices are -unavoidable- if people are taking the markets for a free ride. The only way to keep up with the loss is, that's right, raise prices. Now, whether or not they're raising prices by an appropriate amonut is another matter entirely. It's one thing to punish people that are getting their music for free; punishing the people who already buy CD's is quite different.

Re:I wonder what business-school they went to (1)

erasmus_ (119185) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077222)

Unavoidable? Perhaps changing one's business tactics is an acceptable alternative as well, or trying to alienate your customers? Realizing that a large portion of your customers might be high-income computer people who need to listen to something all day when sitting by the computer, and who are not going to pay outrageous prices for bad releases.

I was a business major, and I really don't remember any class telling me that the only way to fight slipping market share was to raise prices. Innovate was definitely one.

Now, whether or not they're raising prices by an appropriate amonut is another matter entirely

The prices are and were already inappropriate, as has been pointed out by a great deal of research. Manufacturing costs have gone way down, as have distribution, but cd prices have remained steady, and now risen. It's a cash cow for the labels, and they're not afraid to milk until it hurts.

Re:I wonder what business-school they went to (1)

lunenburg (37393) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077153)

Actually, it's more like:

exec1: Everybody is p2p-ing our stuff.
exec2: Let's copy-prevent the CDs and buy some laws to make it a crime to trade music.
senator1: Thank you for the donation! I have the cops waiting for your signal.
exec1 & exec2: Score!

Napster = CD sales (5, Interesting)

Bravo_Two_Zero (516479) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077054)

It's a hard truth for the recording industry to accept, but as a friend of mine said, "when you're into Napster, you're into music." I have to say I bought a few dozen CDs during the Napster era. I've purchased one since the downfall (and that was a gift). Here's hoping the artists get more joy out of the RIAA than ordinary users like us.

Re:Napster = CD sales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3077106)

Yeah, same here.

I bought around 10 CD's during the napster years, but only two during the last year (one of which was a gift)...

Re:Napster = CD sales (1)

ShavenYak (252902) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077180)

Some of us /. readers, though, are a bit different from the general public (no, really?). I'd bet some of us have slacked off on buying CDs lately *because* of the RIAA attacking Napster, not because having Napster around inspired us to buy more CDs. This sort of vote-with-your wallet mentality isn't as widespread as we would like to believe it is. I'm sure there are plenty of folks out there who just said, "Darn, I can't download Brittney anymore. I guess I'll have to moan and complain until Mom buys me the CD now."

Re:Napster = CD sales (1)

dubdays (410710) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077176)

Here's the deal. When I used Napster, I was exposed to a huge amount of music I would have never heard otherwise. If I found a song I liked, I'd check out other music on the same album.

The simple fact of the matter is that many people don't like to buy full albums because so many of them are filled with crap. If I like one song on the album, I won't buy the album...I have to like at least of few of them. But how do you ever know what the rest of the album is like? You download the songs and try them out.

How about the source material?! (5, Insightful)

InterruptDescriptorT (531083) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077064)

Go watch MTV or MTV2 for a while.

Tell me you instantly want to go out and buy the albums groups are hawking. The music is either pablum for the teen masses, a la Britney Spears, pseudo-intellectual neo-sensitive grunge like Creed, or mindless, repetitive breakbeats with woman singing, 'ooh, ooh baby' underneath it.

Not inspiring, is it? There's good music being made, but it's not being marketed. Maybe the RIAA hasn't got it through their inscrutable little heads that people don't want the same shit they've been given for decades! People want intelligent, thought-provoking, emotionally engaging music. Meanwhile, this crap is pushed on it, and frankly, I think the CD consumer is starting to wise up and decide it's just not worth the $15 to buy the CD.

Good job, RIAA. Keep it comin'. Meanwhile, I'll find my niche music in the corners of the Internet where you'll never find it hiding.

Re:How about the source material?! (1)

archen (447353) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077215)

Meanwhile, this crap is pushed on it, and frankly, I think the CD consumer is starting to wise up and decide it's just not worth the $15 to buy the CD.

Well another spin is that people are no longer buying CDs for ONE freaking song. The music industry has made a lot of money of the "one hit wonder" and I think most people are sick of buying a CD for one song they like. I don't listen to popular music myself, and I'm fine with the albums I buy because generally they're worth buying. But on the occasion that I get a CD with only one (or two) songs are even worth listening to, I tend to get sort of pissed. If it's only one song, it's better just to download it really, instead of cluttering up my apartment with another CD (most of which I just rip as an ogg and stuff the CD in a box somewhere anyway).

Re:How about the source material?! (1)

ShavenYak (252902) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077218)

Good point. All the music that is heavily marketed falls into two or three pigeonholes, and the artists are interchangable within their categories (Brittney/Christina/whoever, N*Sync/Backstreet Boyz/98 Degrees, Creed/Staind/Days of the New).

Another problem with the mass-market music is the record companies don't want to bother with anything but the mega-stars. For God's sake, they dumped Mariah Carey because she "only" sold two million records?!?

Speaking of Heinlein... (1, Insightful)

Akardam (186995) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077069)

Someone should tell the RIAA:

TANSTAAFL!*

I mean, it's just perfect! Besides being true, of course. I mean, in the way of the RIAA's actually having to get more new stuff produced, instead of sitting behind a desk gaining royalties for songs well past their prime.

* TANSTAAFL: From Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Acronym: There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

But are people file trading less ? (3, Interesting)

EpsCylonB (307640) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077072)

But are people file trading less ?

progs like morpheus and audiogalaxy are just as easy to use as napster, they may not have quite the reputation that napster had but I reckon most people who were file trading three yaers ago are probably still doing it today.

I know a lot of people are getting pissed off with napster now they have introduced their subscription service but they were originally the best. Morpheus is fine for anything popular (spears/nsync/etc.) but bad for the rare and obscure. When napster was at its peak you could find those kinds of songs.

Re:But are people file trading less ? Yep (1)

Draigon (172034) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077159)

Believe it or not most people don't know about file trading and p2p. I heard someone mention above they heard some 60 year old grandma talking about trading music online. Do you think if you went up to that grandma and mentioned "p2p" she would know what you're talking about? I bet not.

Napster had a newbie interface, was stirred up in so much controversy that even non-music lovers just wanted to try it to see what the hype was, it was on tv, radio, everything. I've heard Morpheus and Gnutella mentioned maybe twice on tv. Compare that to several Mtv specials that had Napster mentioned in some fashion.

CEO Pay increase (3, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077073)

If MPAA member companies are making less money it is probably because the CEOs are making more than ever - not verified, but they always seem to be making more money than the little guy that they fire when things get tough.

One thing that is interesting to notes is that food recipes are available all the time, but people still go to restaurants. Or, are we going to get restaurants blaming Napster next time people don't eat at them?

Duh... (5, Insightful)

sporty (27564) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077074)

I was unemployed for 3 months. What was the biggest luxary I had spent money on? Seeing lord of the rings. Yes. That was my biggest luxary spending. Well, that and food.

With ~5.6% people unemployed, and cut backs of course... WHERE DO YOU THINK WE WILL GET THE MONEY TO BUY $18 CD'S!!

Thank God I'm into older stuff now. At least those are a little cheaper...

Meanwhile (5, Informative)

Vanders (110092) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077078)

In the UK, CD sales are up Again. Are they going to tell us people don't use P2P systems in the UK now?

Show me the numbers (1)

Warthog9 (100768) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077080)

I would like to re-itterate what was stated in the article: show me the numbers. I mean 23 percent just tossed out there is as it stands, an arbitrary number. So for instance I could claim that 98% of the record industry has their heads stuck in the sand. Or that 60% of the population afters listening to windows startup sound a hundred million times because they have to re-boot so often slowly begins to think (subliminal messages in the .wav file maybe?) that Microsoft is a good thing. Without numbers to back these up they are merely random stuff being pulled out of my butt.

And Again, welcome to corporate America, if I can find a way to make a bigger, faster, better buck then the people already making it, someday I will own the people already making it. Tough cookies about who was there first.

Crappy Music (1)

mckeowbc (513776) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077081)

I used to download a lot of music, but I'd say in the last year, or even two I have hardly downloaded any music, or for that matter bought any CD's. I've lost all interest in most of the current artists. I haven't heard anything that really caught my interest in a couple of years. And in talking to my friends, and coworkers I'd say that I'm not alone in my feelings. Unless the RIAA finds a new sound, or a few people release some big albums their profits are just going to slip further.

Get a fork, this goose is almost cooked (5, Informative)

thumbtack (445103) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077082)

So far this year: Rick Boucher asks the RIAA and IFPI to explain how their copy protection schemes work and raises the question if the copy protection is illegal under Audio Home Recording Act of 1996.
On January 9th, the RIAA lays off 16 employees, including Karen Allen, their "Internet Evangelist"
The Recording Artists Coalition announced fund raising concerts to take place the night before the Grammy's to raise money to fight the recording industry for fair contracts and accounting oversight. The concerts sell out.
The Department of Justice investigation into antitrust issues continues.
The EFF steps up to defend Morpheus as having substantial non-infringing uses.
The Supreme Court decides to hear the case of Eldred vs. Ashcroft (started out as Eldred vs. Reno) to determine if the retroactive Copyright Term Extension Act is constitutional.
The Second District Court of Appeals reinstates the Chambers vs. Warner Brothers Case saying the judge considered evidence he shouldn't have. (this is the watershed case for older artists)
Webcasting rates are set, most likely sending almost every webcaster offline, including non profit and college stations. Rates are retroactive to 1998. The webcasters have 30 days to pay after the rates are adopted.
Suncomm (Media Cloque) and Charley Pride's record label settle the consumer case brought by consumers over "protected CDs", agreeing to clearly label the CD as incompatible with DVD player, Computer CD Players and portable CD players.
Napster Judge Marilyn Hall Patel hands the RIAA a stunning defeat in a surprising turn around, by allowing Napster to do discovery on the copyrights the RIAA says they own, appoints a "Special Master" and gives the RIAA three weeks to prove they own the copyrights and that they are in fact "work for hire". (which the Recording Artists Coalition says they aren't) She also allows discovery on possible misuse of those copyrights to stifle competition to MusicNet and PressPlay.
Filesharing is at an all time high.
The RIAA releases figures showing that CD shipments are down 10.3%, but sales are only down 2.3 % in dollars.
Five songwriters file suit in LA District Court over record club sales and lack of accounting oversight.
California Senator Kevin Murray plans to introduce a bill this year to penalize record labels that purposely underpay royalties, this is in addition to the bill on the 7 year contract limitation. THE EFF and 4 law school clinics launch chillingeffects.org to educate internet users to their rights online.
RIAA forms the California Music Coalition to fight against artists rights. Organizing support from people who are subject to the 7 year contract limitation in CA., the same rights the artists want.

What the RIAA really wants (5, Insightful)

diabolus_in_america (159981) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077086)

The RIAA continues to harp on declining profits and the disasterous effects of Napster and other P2P sites because their agenda, I think, from day one has been to get some sort of legislation that gives them the power of a Federal agency, while maintaining their for-profit status.
It may sound strange or conspiracy minded, but look at the way most of their press releases are written. Their releases make liberal use of the words, such as "piracy" and "illegal."
The RIAA is not just looking for the courts to shut down any site that they deem a danger to their continued profitability. They are looking for the government to give them to the power to do something about it themselves.

Re:What the RIAA really wants (1)

Hrothgar The Great (36761) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077170)

You're exactly right. Just look at the Business Software Alliance as an example of what the RIAA would like to become.

My advice for musicians (4, Insightful)

e-gold (36755) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077087)

Go *around* the RIAA quintopoly. Scott McCloud's cartoons "I Can't Stop Thinking" five [scottmccloud.com] and six [scottmccloud.com] have some ideas (which for some reason REALLY anger [penny-arcade.com] some folks). I have worked for tips before, it's not always the best living, but it pays the rent and tips of a reasonable size are a lot more palatable than overpriced CDs to consumers, and a lot better than nothing for musicians.

Anyway, lots of technology exists that could easily stop the bottleneck that limits feedback between consumers & the music business. I know, because I sell (some of) it for a living...
JMR

what's the conclusion (2)

mark_lybarger (199098) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077090)

maybe download coresponds positivly to album sales?

maybe more people are using gnutella/morpheous (the hard core thieves are anyway probably not the most average consumer. everyone i knew who downloaded music during the napster days is still downloading via other methods. hell, lots of people d/l'd tons of music pre-napster on usenet.

maybe having a $13.74B revenue stream gives the RIAA a little money to pay teams of lawyers to do some creative shit to get them publicity and keep the business alive

or maybe, mariah carey isn't really worth $28M. an over 30 wacked out singer like her should be at most a club singer.

Classical Music (4, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077091)

In the past year I've "discovered" Mozart, Listz (sp?) Beethoven, Copland, and other composers of orchestral music, and I'm listening to some opera. There's hundreds of years of differing styles and composers. I listen to DC101 or WHFS for about 1 week every three months to see if anything new or interesting is on (usually not) and then go back to WETA.

Thank God for NPR.

Blame DeCSS! (5, Funny)

Shoten (260439) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077092)

I don't know about the rest of the world, but I know that I'm not buying much music these days because I'm so busy duplicating DVDs left and right. Well, that and exporting strong encryption :)

Re:Blame DeCSS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3077172)

You Enemy of the People, you!

I guess that means... (1)

qurob (543434) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077097)

You can open Napster back up! Let us all rejoice!

The programs for filesharing that are being used right now are alright, but none are like Napster

Abuse of statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3077098)

...all they tell us about it is that "23 percent of surveyed music consumers say they are not buying more music because they are downloading or copying their music for free." ... So what does this mean? I guess 77 percent are buying more music because they're downloading it for free?


Bzzt. Guess what? You're wrong. That does not follow.

Compare to this example: "23 percent of surveyed high school students say they are not smoking more crack because they are getting crack for free." From that statement, you can NOT say that 77 percent of high school students are smoking more crack. The other 77 percent may not be smoking any crack at all, or they simply refused answering the question.

Statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3077100)

85% of statistics are made up. :)

Business Plan (4, Interesting)

ronc_LAemigre (465190) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077105)

Let's see you keep raising prices even though costs of production are declining (particularly the switch from LPs to CDs years ago) even when everyone knows what the real cost of raw materails is. You cheat all of the artists on royalty payments. You try to stop or price out of existence every streaming radio station. YOu insist upon a tax on all blank recordable media in Europe, and try the same in the US. Shutdown Napster and half-heartedly have some of your members set up bad "replacements". Effectively kill the singles market, insisting that everyone buy full albums from one-hit wonders.
And, then you are shocked and apalled that everyone is sharing Digital copies?

ganders goose geese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3077107)


all this blather about pirates, ?hackers? etc... i think columbus was called evile names too. with broadband/p2p/anonymous web tech., there's not much that megasloth can do to stop file sharing. I'd agree that the artists hold the cards, & should get a fair day's pay for a fair day's work. CDs should be around 3 bucks, if mr sloth whaanted to compete. after some time, most artists will have their OWN method of distributing thier OWN music. so IT goes. fud is almost dead/in prison for theft.

Figures (1)

ickle_matt (122935) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077108)

Total reduction in sales: 10.3%
Percentage of consumers not buying CDs: 23%

Are:
a) these figures screwy
b) the majority of consumers buying more CDs
c) my brain cells finally giving up and making me type nonsense?

RIAA can blame congress on this one... (5, Insightful)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077109)

Congress passed the 1996 Telecommunications Act which, among other things, deregulated the airwaves. That put control of a majority of the big-market radio stations in the hands of a small number of companies. DJs are no longer DJs, they're "radio personalities". Playlists come from corporate and they're narrower than ever. As a result, the music that gets played is homogenous in the extreme. Oh, by the way, one company in that mix controls the majority of concert promotions too (Clear Channel Communications).

So why are CD sales off? Maybe because music that's on the radio is so weak and generic. Because the bands that get promoted are done so from on high in a corporate boardroom. The record companies have always managed things from above, but before the great airwave merger-fest started in 1996, they still had to work with local DJs and concert promoters and that invariably meant more variety. Now they all work in a harmonious corporate union and the result is music that more or less sucks.

They want a scapegoat? They need to look at this slick machine they've created.

-S

Re:RIAA can blame congress on this one... (5, Informative)

SamMichaels (213605) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077171)

Oh, by the way, one company in that mix controls the majority of concert promotions too (Clear Channel Communications).

One thing to add is that since Cheap Channel bought SFX Entertainment, they've been choking out "competitor" stations for concerts (I work for a Cumulus Media station).

Isn't it in the best interest of the artist to get as much exposure as possible? Too much corporate scandal and politics...we exist FOR the artist..not BECAUSE of the artist.

Re:RIAA can blame congress on this one... (1)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077220)

I should probably tack on an addendum to this as well...

Crappy radio is -the- reason I've taken to downloading music. The internet is the way that I discover new bands and new music. In fact if it wasn't for the internet and the ability to download music, I pretty much wouldn't buy ANY CDs anymore because I probably would have given up on music based on what I hear on the radio.

-S

I'm surprised they haven't whinged about... (2, Funny)

verloren (523497) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077117)

second hand CDs. I get most of my music from a local branch of CD Warehouse [cdwarehouse.com] (A cutting edge site - their Y2K testing report is on the front page!) for between $8 - $10. My local and other stores like it are always busy, and not a penny goes to the RIAA! It's a damned outrage!

Re:I'm surprised they haven't whinged about... (2)

danheskett (178529) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077161)

They tried this a while back, I can't remember the exact artist, but an artist and his RIAA bed-buddies tried to prevent people from selling music second hand.

The courts pretty much affirmed once and for all that sellers of most stuff including music only have the "right of first sale". I only hope that the ruling gets extended to cover software.

They did! (1)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077177)

I'm surprised they haven't whinged(sic) about second hand CDs.

They already tried whined about that in the early '90s. The courts ruled that it would violate the first sale doctrine.

-S

why am i to blame ? (2)

mirko (198274) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077122)

I download loads of music but only songs that I already have on vinyl records.
(or also GPL'ed music [gnuart.net] )
I spent a lot of money on these records years ago so I don't accept being called a pirate.
Am I wrong ?

The people i feel sorry for... (1)

D-Cypell (446534) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077123)

...are the artists. The record companies deserve to lose out after the way prices have been hiked in the interests of profit, but the artists really are the victims here. Perhaps someone should set up a system where the artist is payed directly when their song is downloaded.

Re:The people i feel sorry for... (2)

danheskett (178529) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077145)

All I can say to artists who get in bed with the RIAA, and are now getting screwed:

You reap what you sow.

Yah, llama music! (1, Funny)

gerf (532474) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077125)

Hey, i'm looking for a job, and oh man, i just can't wait to have that new MMM bopper boy band CD. that's just my focus on life right now! oh wait, maybe i should try to feed the kids and keep the mortgage and pay insurance and...

When Napster Was Around I bought CD's (4, Interesting)

wazzzup (172351) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077126)

Back when I was in college in my 20's I bought a lot of CD's. Now I'm in my 30's and I don't buy near as many CD'sas I did when I was in my 20's. There was, however, a brief increase in my CD buying when Napster was around. I hate all of our local radio stations so I'd look at the playlists of websites that played music I did like. I couldn't hear the music though. With Napster, I had the ability to preview the songs which usually then meant going on to Amazon.com and buying the CD's. Now, for one reason or another, Napster is gone and I just don't buy CD's anymore. I know I could use Limewire or some other sharing program but I don't. I can say for a fact that Napster caused me to buy more CD's. My friends have similar testimonies.

Re:When Napster Was Around I bought CD's (1)

darketernal (196596) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077203)

I can say this too!
What I do if I hear about a certain artist, I will download some songs from one specific album. If they're good and i like 90% of them (you have to allow for a few turkeys in every album), I will buy the CD. Easy as that.

Napster Fuelled my CD buying frenzy (1)

Cecil Bumfluff (103556) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077127)

The short and the simple of it is this. I am loath to buying something that I haven't tried out before. I wouldn't buy a TV without having a demo in the shop, or even buy a pair of jeans without trying them on.

The same goes with music. I am a huge music fan and have over 200 legitimate CD's. I also have a substantial MP3 collection ( around 1200 tunes ). The fact of the matter is that most of the mp3's I have - I also have a CD by the same artist. I want to listen to a few songs by the artist before purchasing a CD. Now while some of the larger stores have listening posts, these can only accommodate a few of the newest and most popular releases. The same goes with radio and TV. Only the most popular artists get featured regularly, which inevitably means a non-descript flow of commercial faff.

With Napster or other d/l apps I could listen to artists I would never even have thought about listening to before, and if I like what I hear, I can then fork out for the CD. Besides, you still can't top CD for high quality sound when played through a decent HiFi.

As a true music fan I welcome the breadth and scope that has been given to us by Napster et al.

cd prices out of a hat? (2, Interesting)

Interfacer (560564) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077137)

why does the same cd cost 13$ in the us of a, 18$ in belgium, and (not kidding) 30$ in the uk? ...

Hmm... DVD sales sure aren't slowing down! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3077140)

Well, maybe the RIAA just needs to take a look at the movie studios for a clue (not that the MPAA doesn't have their own digiphobia, but that's another rant.) I see no slow down of people eating up $20 DVD's, so obviously the $20 price point is not an issue with most folks even with a recession. But, here's my brief comparison between your average current CD and say Star Wars: Episode I on DVD:

CD: 1 disc, 2-channel stereo, maybe 2 good tracks out of 12 for $18
DVD: 2 discs, 6.1 channel, maybe 45 good minutes of movie out of 100, with tons of extras for $20
Advantage: DVD

CD: Simple jewel case with insert
DVD: Simple keepcase with insert
Advantage: Tie

CD: Well, that's about all there is!
DVD: Dolby Digital 6.1 EX, commentary tracks, English/Spanish languages, subtitles, deleted scenes documentary, 1-hour "making of" documentary, storyboard segments, 5 featurettes, web documentary series, "Duel of the Fates" music video, photo gallery, theatrical posters and print media, theatrical teasers and trailers, 7 television trailer ads, etc.
Advantage: What, are you blind!?!?

Sure there are stinkers on DVD too, but the ratio is a heck of alot better than CD. For now (at least) the movie studios are actually delivering value for $20, which is why the industry is seeing a movie buying binge unlike any in past history. This formula seems to always be successful: good product at a good price = good value = strong sales.

Las estadísticas mienten (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3077141)

Es muy fácil llegar a la conclusión que deseas a partir de una estadística.
En estos casos, además, mucha gente probablemente mentirá.

Yo personalmente no compro música y uso el Napster para bajarmela.
Pero jamás he comrado música, así que no creo que resulte ningún peligro para la indústria de la música.

They never learn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3077147)

This might seem offtopic but this reminds me very much of Polaroid. They fought battle royal against Kodak to protect their "Intellectual Property" They kept protecting it until they pretty much went down the drain, as technology rendered them obsolete.

RIAA not listening, la la la la... (1)

GrampaJoe (175304) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077149)

I know for a fact that I have purchased fewer CD's as a DIRECT RESULT of the death of Napster and the crippling of Audio Galaxy. The RIAA has ignored (or not bothered to find out) how an online "Listening station" affects buying habits. Say I search for an Anders Osborn tune and, in the process, find that others who searched for A.O. also liked, _________ (list of scruffy New Orleans blues artists). I check out some of those names and the next time I am in a CD shop I've got a whole catalog of artists and potential purchases in my head THAT WERE NOT THERE BEFORE.

Not everyone takes the time to burn entire CD's. In fact, when giving gifts, sometimes it's a little more appropriate to wrap up a commercially produced CD rather than "Something I burned for $.35." You see the difference?

And how many of you are going to go search for Anders Osborn right now, just because of this casual mention of his name? Yeah, I though so. You won't be disappointed.

The RIAA knows none of this.

-GrampaJoe

============
sigs are not for old farts like me.

Listen to this! (1)

Hrothgar The Great (36761) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077151)

For everyone complaining about the current crappy state of music (and I happen to agree with you completely), you have got to check out:

Bloodshot Records [bloodshotrecords.com]

I have not seen another record label with anywhere near as many great artists all recording under one roof. Alejandro Escovedo, Whiskeytown, Ryan Adams, the Old 97's (actually, they've moved on now), Split Lip Rayfield, the list goes on and on.... If you haven't heard of these bands, you are missing out! And I think their CD's are fairly cheap if you order direct. Go there and learn where the innovation is at.

Cd sales (0)

Codejack (236355) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077154)

over the past 10 years (roughly the length of time i have had the resources to purchase ANYTHING, but in this case, specifically, music CDs), i have purchased approximately 250 music CDs. the vast majority of these were through a music club while i was between the ages of 14 and 17. at 24, i now refuse to purchase any music CD from any major label, period. as a matter of fact, i download as many Metallica songs as i can off the internet, even though i do not particularly care for their music. the only music CDs i purchase anymore are from independent labels, which are, sadly, declining (with a few exceptions).

The record industry's last gasp... (1)

horned_norseman (562175) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077169)

You know, it strikes me as very odd that anyone would care that the recording industry is hurting - least of all the musicians themselves. This is the same industry that has been ripping off consumers AND artists for years and years. Ex: TLC sells something like 6 million records, and ends up owing the record company money.

Lars, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Musicians should celebrate this, not fight it. They should see this as a opportunity to market directly to fans, and cut out the blood-sucking leaches in the middle once and for all.

vinyl! (3, Informative)

pinghels (100038) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077173)

The reason why I am not buying any more cd's -- heck, fewer and fewer! -- is that I have a very nice record player. (Used) vinyl is far cheaper and sounds even better, so why bother?

kick RIAA in the butt (1)

f00zbll (526151) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077181)

some one needs to kick RIAA in the butt, so they will go out into america and help good musicians make a living at performing. They would benefit a lot more than hiring a bunch of lawyers( who always get their cut). Especially when they try to sue people with no money, there's no one else to pick up the bill. As more of this goes on, I get a strong impression that music executives don't love, like or understand music.

It's one thing to see it as a commodity, but they've gone far beyond that into despising music and musicians. People will fork over great sums for a real work of art that connects with the audience. No amount of corporate manufacturing like pop stars or O town is going to start a massive global music movement. Lame bubble gum CD's are just that. Sure the singers are cute, but underneath is a rotten can of maggots. Get over it RIAA, it's getting harder and harder to make a buck at pre-packaged pop. At some point, there will be a huge revolt and people will find other ways to experience art. There's still plenty of time to turn things around for the music industry, I just hope they realize it's in everyone's best interest to allow art to flow freely. That doesn't necessarily mean free as in beer, but free as in one's ability to access it be it bootleg, tape, cd or mp3.

Hmm (1)

weird mehgny (549321) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077183)

Could it be that Napster & co made people discover new music to buy?

I buy twice as many CD's today as I did before I discovered Internet-based music sharing.

Solution for falling record sales... (5, Interesting)

psxndc (105904) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077189)

Similar to the one I posted about the "only 2 out of 10 movies are profitable" comment Valenti made about movies:

Make less crap. [slashdot.org]

I'm not going to buy an $18 dollar CD dammit. I'll buy two $12 dollar ones though. Make less crap, drop the cost of the CD, and I'll buy more. As a finger to the man, I'll just use etree [etree.org] for now (though the RIAA get kickbacks for CD-R sales so I lose either way). I've bought all the CD's of the artists I want to buy for now. Nothing appealing has come out lately.

psxndc

RIAA isn't concerned w/short term outlook (0)

RealSalmon (177174) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077190)

The RIAA isn't concerned with revenue outlook in the short term. The reason they fear and bully services such as Napster is because they don't want to lose control of distribution. Distribution is the key.

If every artist was able to distribute thier own works, there wouldn't be any need for bloated, crooked companies such as those that the RIAA is composed of. Obviously, the RIAA would gladly sacrifice short term revenue to maintain this control.

RIAA is missing the point... (4, Interesting)

mystery_bowler (472698) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077193)

The mass market of consumers owns a CD player and likely has one in their car. The mass market consumers do not own MP3 players that they use over their home stereo or in their car or even as a portable device for that matter. So despite the large number of "casual" Internet users that became proficient at downloading a few MP3s via a file sharing service (re: Napster), most people still bought CDs.

I think what the RIAA is missing here is that the people who really download lots and lots of MP3s are never going to spend the money to buy this music in the first place. Case and point: I really wanted Tenacious D's album so I bought the CD. A good friend of mine kinda likes Tenacious D, but not enough to buy the album, so he downloaded the MP3s he likes. Since he never would have bought the CD in the first place, you can't really count him as lost revenue. He would have never bought the CD.

It would be interesting to me to find out how many people who used Napster (and still use Morpheus, et al) that never intended to buy the CDs in the first place. Removing them from the equation would provide a more accurate look at what the RIAA lost/gained.

CD Prices (3, Insightful)

Captain Large Face (559804) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077194)

In the UK, it is not uncommon to find some newer CDs retailing in record shops for up to 17GBP (24USD).

Since the average wage in the UK is approximately 18000GBP (25500USD) per annum, the average worker has to work two hours to be able to afford an album.

At this rate, not many people can afford to buy a CD unless they know they're going to like it. P2P services allow people to listen to music before they buy it, to ensure that what they're buying is to their taste.

Perhaps if CDs didn't cost so much, people would make more impulse purchases of popular music, rather than relying on Napster and it's relatives.

Napster was good! (1)

javaboss (178796) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077202)

The number of CD's I purchased without a doubt went up when I was downloading tracks from Napster. The number of CD's I've purchased since has definetly dropped!


These people really have no idea how to run a company do they?

Are you kidding? (0)

BattleTroll (561035) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077205)

The decline in album sales has nothing to do with online file trading. The reason sales are down is because the record companies are releasing nothing but rehashed shit lately. I don't even bother turning on the radio anymore since all they play is recycled, teen-scream garbage.

From the article: (1)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077206)

"Cassette Popularity Sharply Declines Cassette units shipped to U.S. markets decreased by 40 percent in 2001, representing a $363 million dollar value. This represents a 41.9 percent decrease from 2000."

You'd think.

Just Maybe..... (2, Interesting)

101010 (84878) | more than 12 years ago | (#3077210)

Yeah it's a slow economy, CD prices are too high, but who else is tired of listening to cookie cutter "bands" of every shape and size. We've got boy groups, girl groups, angry rap groups, angry teenagers, angry old guys, "serious artists", and the plague of all plagues, Yoko Ono, but mostly we've got spoiled celebrities with more money than talent producing CD's that maybe, just maybe might have 1 decent song on it. All this so they can get together at least once a month at an "awards show" and tell eash other how wonderful they are and remind the rest of us poor saps how stupid, pitiful, and wrong we are because I don't want to give up more of my paycheck to the government to support some "program" they think is the scourge of the planet. This concludes our rant for today.
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