More Music Sold Than Ever Before in the UK

More Music Sold Than Ever Before, Despite Piracy http://tinyurl.com/28m66jw UK’s BPI claims sales dropped but it’s a very selective reading of the data.

You’ve got to wonder about the mental health of organizations like the RIAA and their UK counterpart the BPI. The BPI’s own figures show that more units of music were sold in 2010 than ever before and that figure is up 27% since 2006.

And yet all we hear is how “piracy is killing music”.

In their press release the BPI points out that album sales overall were down by 7%. Although digital album sales were up 30.6%, physical CDs were down by 12.4%. If we believe the music industry, this drop in sales of physical CDs can be solely attributed to piracy. This is an interesting conclusion, because one would expect that piracy would mostly have an effect on digital sales.

“Solely attributed to piracy”. Not the fact that people don’t buy physical media any more; or that the ability to buy the (only) good tracks off an album leads to a drop in the sales of the (stuffed with filler) album? Really? Could the BPI be that intellectually dishonest?

Why, yes they can!

The digital revolution in music and the consumer shift from albums to singles described above is hurting the industry’s revenue. Despite the fact that more music is being sold, revenue is shrinking because consumers prefer singles over full albums. And if someone buys 6 single tracks instead of a full album, this means usually that less money is coming in.

This change is mostly being felt by the managers and employees at record labels, and not as much by artists. Since album and single sales are just a small fraction of the artists’ yearly income, and with attendances of live performances being up, the artists are doing great.

Record labels are losing their business, but so did lamplighters, linotype operators and stenographers. The world changes and if you don’t continually modify your business practices your business will die. That’s what should happen. What should not happen is laws being passed to prop up outmoded businesses that refuse to adapt. Not entirely surprising when they’ve enjoyed (in economic terms) monopoly rents in the past.

Digital production and distribution killed the monopoly the labels once had. That’s the way it should be and if the members of the RIAA and BPI aren’t going to adapt they should be immediately disbanded to save society the pain they’ll force us through (with their compliant politicians).

One thought on “More Music Sold Than Ever Before in the UK”

  1. “Digital production and distribution killed the monopoly the labels once had. That’s the way it should be and if the members of the RIAA and BPI aren’t going to adapt they should be immediately disbanded to save society the pain they’ll force us through (with their compliant politicians).”

    This could not be a truer or more relevant statement today and hopefully things will continue to move in the right direction.

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