Once Again: The Music Industry Does Not Equal The CD Business

from the get-that-straight dept

A bunch of folks have been sending in Charles Blow's NYTimes column about the supposed "death" of the music industry. However, Blow makes the most basic of errors: he appears to equate the music industry with the recording industry. He accepts RIAA numbers of when "sales peaked," not realizing that he's only talking about sales of a segment of the wider music industry. Yet as recent studies both from outside and inside the music industry have shown, the overall music ecosystem has been getting larger in terms of dollar volume. Money may be shifting away from CDs, but it's not shifting away from music-related commerce. But, I guess that's what happens when you rely on just the RIAA for your data...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 5th, 2009 @ 11:01am

    Also

    "I guess that's what happens when you rely on just the RIAA for your data."

    I also have a rule that I don't trust people with verbs for names. I'm talking to YOU, Sting....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 11:38am

    Although "sting" can also be a noun... O_o

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), Aug 5th, 2009 @ 11:40am

    Correction:

    get-that-stratight

    straight?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 11:41am

    Mike, you did exactly what you always do, link to only semi-related posts and try to treat them like facts.

    Yet, this billboard report:

    http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3i94ea3c8eea0facd9bd82f9731dbf65 4f

    The business is getting smaller.

    Also, you still haven't addressed the concept of increased ticket prices, and their part in the total sales numbers. If concert ticket prices have doubled or tripled in 10 years, wouldn't the overall music industry be WAY up? That is it only marginally up suggests that all other parts of the music business are WAY down.

    By grouping all things "music related" into a single bucket, you can imply that music is making more money, but the reality is that in most areas of the music industry, sales are way down and dropping, when they should be way up, based on public consumption of music.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Erik (profile), Aug 5th, 2009 @ 11:46am

    Physical Media or Business Related?

    I'm seeing a two-fold set of issues in that poorly titled op-ed piece that have little to do with the RIAA dinosaur itself.

    1) Languishing business model - the entertainment biz has yet to figure out the online model and a change in royalty revenues.

    2) Of course CD sales are down, who isn't straying away from physical mediums these days; when you're carrying around a hard-drive in your pocket and can stream media directly to your TV/device/computer/magic box.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Re: Also

    Yeah, and I'm talking to you, RUN. (From RUN/DMC)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    tdr, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 11:49am

    NIce as those gadgets are, Erik, they can still fail, thus a physical backup is a good thing to have.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Do You Work?, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 11:50am

    Re: Also

    Do you have a job or were you a victim of the economy. Where do you find the time to post so often?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Erik (profile), Aug 5th, 2009 @ 11:50am

    Re:

    I'll store mine in the cloud across as multiple copies across multiple providers, thank you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), Aug 5th, 2009 @ 11:51am

    Re:

    So, your counter-argument is the summary of an unpublished report paid for by the industry about a single section of the music industry in a single section of the world?

    ..and you have the gall to judge someone for treating semi-related posts as facts?!

    Classy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    pookie, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re: Also

    And if you accept misspellings or homophones...

    I'm talking to YOU, Cher!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), Aug 5th, 2009 @ 11:55am

    Re:

    Luckily, even if your hard drive fails, since you only bought the rights to listen to a local copy of the songs and not the actual songs, and your rights didn't fail, you can just email the appropriate Label and they'll gladly allow you to re-download your songs.

    ..wait, what? They don't let you? How odd.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Aug 5th, 2009 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re:

    I just have two USB hard drives for that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Jamie, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 11:58am

    I completely agree with you Mike. My company is part of the music industry and we're growing by leveraging consumer's reliance on digital music for the benefit of global brands. CD's may be dead but consumer's connection to music will always be around. http://www.vervelife.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    fogbugzd, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 12:03pm

    What's semi-related?

    The article that was linked to was a classic example of a "journalist" picking some facts from obviously biased source without making any really meaningful insights of his own. He also ignored some huge points. For example, might the weak economy have something to do with weak sales in an industry that is pretty much 100% discretionary spending? Did he consider that teenagers have turned their discretionary spending to things like video games?

    He did make one good point at the end of his article. The music he was listening to was released in 1999. Might the decline have something to do with the fact that the RIAA companies are mostly turning out formula pablum music that isn't very interesting.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Paul, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    Refuted

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    CommonSense (profile), Aug 5th, 2009 @ 12:24pm

    Re:

    "By grouping all things "music related" into a single bucket, you can imply that music is making more money, but the reality is that in most areas of the music industry, sales are way down and dropping"

    If you pulled your head out of whatever ass it's in, be it yours or the RIAA's, you'd have noticed that Mike said the money is shifting within 'the industry'. 'The industry' encompasses all things "music related," so it is appropriate to group them together, especially to show that 'the industry' is not losing money like they would have you believe. The reason sales in certain areas of 'the industry' are way down and dropping, is a sign of a market SHIFT (there's that word again, odd...). The market (consumers, in case you didn't know) are speaking up to tell 'the industry' that they don't want to buy what 'the industry' is selling anymore, in the only way they can, by not buying it. Free market capitalism is trying to do what it's supposed to do here, but 'the industry' fears the change that's coming, and are trying to cling to the old market as long as they can.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    BobinBaltimore (profile), Aug 5th, 2009 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Also

    Dark Helmet continues to rule.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    BobinBaltimore (profile), Aug 5th, 2009 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re:

    Gotta say, damn good example and point. Never thought about it quite like that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 5th, 2009 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Also

    Yes, no, and actually my tech employer recommends keeping at least one tab open to tech related blogs for use as information, headline talking points, etc.

    I can comment because I can multitask.

    Cool?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Also

    Multitask or multishirk? ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Henderson NV, Aug 5th, 2009 @ 5:28pm

    It's just a shift brought on by technology. Technology makes it so much easier, quicker, and cost effective to distribute music. So why don't they figure out a model to embrace the shift? And music is more than what one buys at the record store or downloads from iTunes. In every major city across the country and world there are live venues and revenues associated with those venues.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 5th, 2009 @ 7:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Also

    "Multitask or multishirk? ;)"

    Can't it be both?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This