Music Sales Down 20% only 80% to go

March 21, 2007

The WSJ is running an article with the rather hilarious title Sales of Music, Long in Decline, Plunge Sharply. I wonder if that’ll get any attention with the Luddites over at the RIAA that think suing college students is the answer or the executives in NY and LA that let them do it.

The article, which is behind the WSJ idiotic registration wall, is a great read.Some of the more interesting highlights include:
CD sales down 20% first quarter
800 record stores closed in 2006
Overall sale of music (physical and digital) down 10% this year
#1 albums can sell fewer then 100 units

At this pace, which isn’t likely to keep up, the music industry would be out of business before the end of the year. However, even if they squeeze out a profit in the coming quarters and manage to escape the year with only the normal 7% decline in sales, the recorded music industry as we know it is dead within 5 years. No more labels with their current contracts, no more CD, more touring and merchandising. If Musictoday goes public or joins a public company buy that stock and hold it. Thats where all the money will be in the music biz.

RIAA to Users: Cash Registers are Ringing. Thanks!

March 5, 2007

The image below is of unknown authenticity and has been circulating around the net. Its apparently the reciept you get after you’ve have forked over protection money to the Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA), via their recently launched shakedown site. It’s at least good to know that as the RIAA forges ahead on it’s campaign to destroy any connection between the music industry and music fans, they havent forgotten their manners. The last sentence of the receipt is tragically ironic, wrong-headed and yet so very polite.

The original image came from here (Review Lister).


RIAA to America: You’re All Guilty! So Pay Up.

March 4, 2007


Tasked with rescuing the major labels from it’s very public death spiral, the Recording Industry Ass. of America has struck on a novel idea. Sue Everyone! Not just old ladies and children but everyone in the US. While you might think it’s a joke, its not. As a first step in their plan to sue everyone in the US the Recording Industry Ass. of America has launched a website where anyone that has received one of their “We’re gonna sue you” letters can go and settle-up.

The Recording Industry Ass. of America has invited a couple hundred college students to beta test the site (via “We’re gonna sue you” letters sent to them last week). The key to the Recording Industry Ass. of America’s plan for suing all American’s is the total automation of the process, from initial bullying to final ransom. The launch of this site, completes the automation process and now the Recording Industry Ass. of America can identify, accuse, threaten and shakedown every American without having to have expensive, and increasingly counter-productive, court appearances.

Read the rest of this entry »

Piracy has No Impact on CD Sales says Report

February 12, 2007

JPE coverA central tenet of the RIAA/IFPI terror campaign against file downloading has been that file downloading causes the industry to loose billion of dollars a year. This point is hotly debated by many who point out that downloading is more like sampling then buying and has probably resulted in net growth for the industry. However, the myopic, luddite brain-dead response of the music industry has been to ignore the mounting evidence of the negligible impact of file-sharing on music sales. Instead they prefer to sue old ladies and children and further poison their relationship with their customers.

Needless to say these arent the brightest folks in business. Fortunately, our good friends in the Ivory covered halls of academia have been busy crunching numbers and running models to see just what is what. Well the latest in a string of reports from some well lettered individuals is in and the numbers show that file-sharing is likely to have negatively impacted just .7% of CD sales. Ars Technica has the full story and its not good for the labels. You cant argue with science man.

Some of the previous research (Price and Piracy, Piracy and Sales, SSRN articles)

Fallout from Steve Jobs anti-DRM Bomb

February 9, 2007

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Earlier this week the Chief Evangelical Officer of Apple Computers Inc., Steve Jobs, channeled the spirit of Ronald Regan (media moguls tear down these digital walls) and wrote an open letter (read my post here) aimed at the music barron’s in their Bling’d-out offices. In it he basically says that DRM sucks, iPods rock and the labels dont grok the implications of either. Well it was a shot heard around the blogosphere and the commentary came fast a furious from low caste bloggers like myself.

screenhunter_014.jpgNot to be outdone by the rabble, the unfortunately named IFPI strongman, John Kennedy, posted a retort to Steve (El Capitain) Jobs. His response could be summed up in two words: “You First!” In what I imagine is a whining monotone, he suggests that Steve drop DRM from Apple, Disney and Pixar products as an example to the industry.

Read the rest of this entry »

Porn Industry Bigger Then Music Industry (Supprised?)

January 8, 2007

What would you rather do, pay a few bucks to watch a hot independent sex worker play with her naughty parts? Or would you rather pay $15 but to hear a manufactured sex worker sing about playing with hers? Well, according to a two reports that came out last week, many Americans frequently indulge in the former and are increasingly foregoing the later.

Yes that’s right folks the porn industry, at just under $13 billion, is officially bigger then the music industry which according to the RIAA’s most optimistic estimates is probably closer to a mere $11 billion dollars. Variety delivered the bad news to the music industry and AVN gave the good tidings to the folks in adult entertainment last week.

Adult entertainment is an industry faced with rampant copyright infringement, innovative competition in every area of its business, tremendous public pressure and fierce governmental oversight. Despite all this, porn continues to embraced the Internet, experiement with new products, focus on serving paying customers (while outpacing the rippers), and so they have thrived… Perhaps there is an obvious lesson in this that the music industry can hire a bunch of really smart consultants to analyze into obscurity.

Ugliness in the Music Business

December 8, 2006

I’m told there was a time when the music industry was a place of beauty and wonder. A place where the average person could hear the soundtrack of their lives or float away on the sirens call of a muse. I’m told these things but I dont remember them.

Two new stories add their wedge in ever expanding chasm between the music industry and their intended customers. Both are from the appropriately named Recording Industry vs The People and they highlight the clear death of the moral economy that may have helped the music industry remain afloat. The first one is a tale of lies and greed,apparently the RIAA’s greed got the best of them and they lied in a letter to the courts in an attempt to extort money from a a Queens mom with MS. The second story is yet another RIAA inspired lawsuit, but this time a group of folks that got shook down for a few grand by the RIAA are suing the makers of Kazaa for basically setting them up to get sued by the RIAA.

Why the music industry is so glib about throwing away its relationship with its customers will always baffle me.