CD Sales Continue Downward Spiral
Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: Mi2N - August 27, 2002
With the avalanche of studies from Forrester, Yankee & Gartner reinforcing the thesis that music downloading increases music purchasing, the RIAA has released findings from two studies to advance its own position. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, CD shipments dropped 7 percent in the first six months of 2002, a worrying increase from last year's annual drop of 5.3%. It also found that counterfeit CD seizures increased 69.9%.
The RIAA also released results from a survey of 860 online music consumers aged 12 to 54 conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates. According to the survey, "fully 41 percent reported purchasing less music now than six months ago, compared to only 19 percent who said they were purchasing more music. Even for those who are downloading the same amount, nearly two-to-one are purchasing less music in the past six months -- 25 percent purchased less, 13 percent more and 62 percent purchased the same amount of music. And, for those who are downloading less, 22 percent said they purchased less in the last six months, 23 percent said they purchased more and 55 percent said they purchased the same amount."
Cary Sherman, President of the RIAA said, "Cumulatively, this data should dispel any notion that illegal file sharing helps the music industry. In fact, there are numerous red flags and warning bells that illustrate conclusively the harmful impact of illegal downloading on today's music industry,"
There is little question that counterfeit CDs present a clear danger for the music industry as each purchase of one displaces a legitimately purchased CD. Anyone walking the streets of any major metropolis is aware of their propagation and lack of any real enforcement. That's why the increase in seizure is the silver lining in the dark cloud that is music sales. But to link the drop in CD shipments to an increase in seizure is not only a stretch, but irrelevant. As are the innumerable surveys that will support nearly anyone's view on the question. One fact is clear, online music distribution via a plethora of channels is a reality being established by consumers, computer/multimedia companies & the consumer electronics sector. While we may not agree on the source of today's sagging music sales, we should at least agree that understanding how to harness the dynamics of what we called years ago the music revolution is the solution.
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