UK Continues to Defy the Laws of Piracy
In a November 5th editorial, "What Online Music Sales?!?," I reflected that while comScore Networks' figures supported the common sense proposition that p2p hurts online music sales, the picture is much murkier as to its effects on CD sales. The latest UK figures on recorded music sales for the third quarter, with a 3.5% rise in total value driven largely by a 9% increase in album CD sales, blurs the picture even further.
The increase in CD album sales, largely attributed to "a strong British artist release schedule," flies in the face of the music industry's attempts to link the global decline in CD sales predominantly to file sharing. Wouldn't common sense say that a stronger release schedule would only augment the attractiveness of file sharing and provide more incentive for counterfeiters? In fact, the figures illustrate that the industry time-honored rule still remains in effect: music lovers are willing to pay for good music.
In fact, the numbers would indicate that much of the problems facing the music industry are self-inflicted (lack of strong artist development for example) and outside forces out of their control (economic recession). This is not to say that piracy does not cost the entertainment industry billions of dollars annually to the detriment of musicians and songwriters, but rather that much of the challenges being faced may require the industry to go back to its roots.
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