RIAA Insists That, Really, The Music Industry Is Collapsing; Reality Shows It's Just The RIAA That's Collapsing

from the data-disagrees dept

I'm honored to see that the folks at the RIAA have taken the time to read our Sky is Rising report. Unfortunately, they don't seem to like hearing the news that the wider music industry is actually thriving -- because it doesn't work well with their legislative strategy (and, remember, the RIAA's main focus is on passing new legislation to help legacy gatekeeper record labels -- not in helping artists). And, this is understandable. As we detailed in the report, as well as in my talk at Midem, a popular music industry conference, the real story of the report is that the market is thriving for artists and consumers, but is much more challenging for big, lumbering legacy players. That would basically be the RIAA's membership.

Either way, I have to take issue with some of the RIAA's "criticisms" of the report, because they're pretty laughable.
The one problem? The study is highly misleading and doesn’t present an accurate or complete view of what has been really occurring in the United States in recent years.

Want proof? Instead of looking at actual sales data that is widely available, the paper looks at a global sales metric that includes a much wider range of industries outside of music.
Actually, people should read the full report for themselves, where they'll see that we looked at a variety of different data sources to see what the data said, and noted the various caveats with each of them. Oh, and that "global sales metric" that the RIAA complains about? That's directly from the IFPI -- the sister organization of the RIAA, who basically represents the RIAA's views around the world. If the RIAA does not like the IFPI's own numbers, perhaps it should have a talk within its own organization.
Moreover, we see real world examples that consistently show the importance of the “traditional” metrics for working artists. For example, although the industry has embraced the concept of broadening revenue platforms, recent work by the Future of Music Coalition show that few artists are benefitting significantly from these complementary revenue sources.
First of all, we've been huge supporters of FMC's work here and have urged musicians to take part in FMC's survey. I don't recall the RIAA helping out. But, really, the problem is how incredibly misleading the RIAA is here, and how it's deliberately misreading the results of FMC's report. The details -- as we said in our own discussion -- are that there is a lot more competition. So, for those who do not adapt or do not embrace new opportunities, it's no surprise that they face more struggles. But for those who do adapt, things are better. Even more important is that, thanks to these new technologies, services and revenue streams, we have more people who are actually able to make money from their music.

The real problem here is that the RIAA ignores the zeros. In the past, under the old system, if you weren't some hugely successful label musician, you generally weren't a musician at all. You made zero and you dropped out of the market entirely. So you didn't count. But thanks to the new opportunities, many more people can make music, release music and make money from music. But that means a lot more competition. So, sure, if you don't compete with that wider base of competition, perhaps you're going to make less. But that's not a sign indicating a decline in health of the overall market. It's exactly the opposite.

I'm reminded of the early studies when computers were first introduced into the workplace. For about a decade afterwards, there were studies that showed that, on average, offices that had computers on every desk saw productivity decline. So, some argued, companies shouldn't computerize. But that's a misunderstanding of statistics. The problem was that many companies didn't know how to properly use computers. Those that did were thriving. Those that didn't had negative results -- and when you netted it out, early on, the negative results outweighed the positive, but that turned the corner once people started to figure things out.

The same thing is happening in the music industry. Many artists are so used to the way things were that they don't quite understand how to embrace and use these new offerings. For them, life is definitely more difficult. But as more and more tools have made life easier, there's more and more opportunity, and those who do understand these things are seeing success.

And, the FMC's results seem to support that. Many artists they surveyed have seen new revenue streams from these sources, creating new forms of success. Others, have not. But it's not that the technology or some nefarious "piracy" threat is the problem. It's that they haven't fully understood the opportunities presented by the tools.
As for touring, the paper does accurately state that over a period, revenues from touring did increase. But it oddly omitted the important fact that concert revenues have actually declined since 2009. In fact, in 2010, North American concert ticket sales dropped 15%, according to Pollstar. And in 2011, despite U2 setting a record for the highest grossing tour in history, North American concert sales contracted another 4%.
First of all, the paper didn't just point out that touring revenue "increased," it points out that it tripled. In other words it grew massively at the very same time that the recording industry insisted that the "music industry" was dying. Cute of the RIAA to leave out the scale by which it grew. It is true that we did not include 2010 or 2011 numbers -- and that's simply a function of the fact that we didn't have them. The latest detailed report we had was the 2010 report showing the numbers up until 2009. And we finished the report before the 2011 numbers came out (we finished it before the end of 2011). Furthermore, it's worth pointing out that Pollstar's numbers are not the be all, end all, as they focus on the bigger venues and leave out an awful lot of interesting things happening among smaller venues. We have been working on ways to get better data there as well, but didn't have enough solid data to put anything into the report (contrary to the RIAA's claims, we were quite careful to focus on data that was highly credible, and rejected a number of reports that we saw that were less than trustworthy, even if they supported what we saw in the other data).

As for the decline in concert revenue, that would be an issue if the entire point of our report was "all the money is moving to concerts!" But it wasn't. The report was looking at the overall industry, and showing how consumers are spending more money overall, and that the industry is healthy. Frankly a decline in concert revenue over the past couple years is neither surprising nor a major concern. Some of the bigger touring acts have been experimenting with increasingly high prices for concert tickets, and eventually they were going to hit a ceiling and face some pushback. The latest Pollstar numbers suggest they may have found that ceiling. Separately, the data corresponds with a global recession (remember that?) where people may have decided to hold back on what seems like more of a "luxury" -- which includes things like going out to an expensive concert.
Finally, the original paper by Mr. Masnick included factual errors about SoundScan data. The increase in the number of new album releases only reflects the ease with which sales even in very low numbers can be tracked today (only a single copy needs to be sold to be counted). For example, of the approximately 75,000 new albums released in 2010, about 60,000 sold less than 100 copies each, and a mere 1200 of them (less than 2% of the total) accounted for 87% of all new release sales.
Notice the RIAA does not actually say what "factual errors" were in the paper. And that's because they can't. To claim that the increase in new releases is only because of better counting by Soundscan defies reason. For example, TuneCore does not report results to Nielsen Soundscan and it puts out a hell of a lot of releases. Similarly, CDBaby/Disc Makers points out that Soundscan doesn't count its releases either -- which number around 50,000. But even looking at just the Soundscan data, it's foolish to believe that the increase "only" comes from better counting. The ability to record and release an album today is easier than ever before, and with more musicians doing exactly that, pretending that there isn't more music being made today than in the past is just silly.

As for the "low sales" of certain albums, I'm not quite sure what point the RIAA thinks it's proving there. As we noted, much of the opportunity was in moving away from record sales, and in encouraging other business models. That artists are recognizing that, by relying less on direct music sales, seems to support our position, not go against it.

The problem is that the RIAA is, once again, focusing solely on the revenue stream that the labels earn on, rather than what's actually happening in the wider industry.
Regardless of the metrics you choose, the trends in the United States have been clear, with a market less than half as large as it was 10 years ago and 60% fewer employees in the music business.
Um, but that's wrong. First of all, the "market" that is "less than half" is merely the market for recorded music sales. As the paper shows -- and the RIAA does not dispute -- the overall market and the amount of money being spent, has continued to increase. It's just that it's going into different parts of the industry. The parts the RIAA doesn't control. The 60% fewer employees number we debunked a few weeks ago, when the RIAA made the same claim. It represents employees at the legacy gatekeepers: the major record labels only. The major labels have decreased employment from 25,000 to 10,000 people total. First of all, note just how small this is. And this is all of the major record labels. But that does not represent all employment in "the music industry" not by a long shot.

Also, over this same period, the major labels went from the "Big Six" to the "Big Five" (UMG buying Polygram) to the "Big Four" (Sony and BMG merging) to the "Big Three" of today (Universal buying EMI). With so much consolidation, is it really any surprise that overlapping positions might get killed off? Furthermore, as was the point of the entire report, the music industry is changing. The sale of recorded music is no longer the primary driver, and much of that revenue has moved elsewhere. So, um, duh, there will be fewer jobs at the buggy whip makers major labels. But that's a problem for the major labels. It's not a policy problem for the government nor is it a problem for the wider music industry.
Virtually every neutral academic study (overview here) has concluded that there is real harm to the music community when people download music illegally. 
First of all, that is not a summary of "every neutral academic study." It's become the new go-to talking point for the industry to point to that Liebowitz paper and I've been spending a lot of time going through the details for a future post, but rest assured that it's a joke. And, at best, even if you take many of the claims in that paper at face value (and you shouldn't, because they're laughable), all it discusses is the impact on record sales, which again is just one part of the market. With the money shifting to other parts of the market, the only ones this is a problem for... are the major labels who make up the RIAA.

Either way, we're glad that the RIAA decided to check out our study. If they had attended Midem, they could have enjoyed the rather enthusiastic response the report received from numerous musicians and independent labels I spoke to. Lots of folks are excited about the opportunities the world enables today. It's just too bad the RIAA is looking backwards, rather than forward.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Mike C. (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 9:22am

    They're not looking backwards...

    See, Mike, that's where you have it wrong. They're not looking backwards, they're just not looking at all and are assuming things haven't changed. That's the problem when you've got your head stuck up your ass - you just can't see what's coming.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:04am

    "the paper looks at a global sales metric that includes a much wider range of industries outside of music."

    Isn't that like how the **AA's do all of their reports?
    Popcorn sales in the MPAA numbers, falling vinyl sales in RIAA numbers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:11am

    RIAA the chicken little of our times just will never change and that is why they need to die along with the MPAA and their monopolies.

     

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    Yogi, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:12am

    LOL. You owe me a laptop for that. Where do i send the bill??

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:13am

    Now look at this statistic here on global Vinyl disc sales! It has been steadily decreasing for the past 10 years! Clearly, this is a sign that a net loss of revenue is hitting the ENTIRE music industry.

    Mr.Masnick just coincidentally decided to omit this from his report, rather shameful of him wouldn't you say?

    Basically this is a whole lot of 'Look at this stat' and 'Here's what's causing it' and "The effect it has" discord huh. The labels sure are a sneaky bunch.

    'Stat of Lowered Disc Sales' + 'Piracy' = 'Music industry is crashing'

    When it should be

    'Stat of Lowered Disc Sales' + 'People would rather cherry pick their shit' = 'Music Industry is doing great, except for those label guys, fuck em'

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:15am

    And here's one more press release for the resident RIAA fanboi to masturbate to.

    Speaking of which, how pathetic do you have to be to be an RIAA fanboy

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:20am

    Sort of a failure there Mike.

    The recorded music industry is dying, getting killed by piracy and perhaps the shorter attention span of people.

    The live performance industry is doing okay, but most of it's significant gains in income are related to staggering ticket price increases, not actual increases in performance or tickets sold.

    It's not as rosy as you are trying to paint it. I know you are trying to support your latest presentation talking point, trying to jump in front of something and like you spotted it (like your buddy Chris Anderson does).

    You need to stop with the cherry picking, and go look at things overall. You won't be able to be so cheerful at that point.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:20am

    Regardless of the metrics you choose, the trends in the United States have been clear, with a market less than half as large as it was 10 years ago and 60% fewer employees in the music business.

    Are we talking the whole music market and music business, or lust the RIAA's market and related business (I'm going to go out on a limb - more like a small stub really - and say it's the latter). Because I know a lot of people buying a lot of music, but I know a growing number of people who won't touch anything from an RIAA label (especially a major label).

     

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    Don, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:23am

    Educate the musicians

    I think there should be some movement to educate the musicians. Similar to the SOPA/PIPA blackout day, we should have a Big Fat Arrow day that points to the online tools to help them out. That should speed up the demise of the RIAA.

     

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    Planespotter (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:26am

    Re:

    OMG, ignore the vinyl sales decline have you seen the decimated sales cylinder phonographs!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:27am

    like all similar reports, the only parts that are of relevance to the RIAA, are the parts that they think are on their side. they dont yet seem to realise that, apart from the 'bought and paid-for politicians', no one believe their bullshit any more. it's good that they continue to look backwards. hopefully, it wont be too much longer before they are not in existence at all!

     

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    mike allen (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:28am

    The mafiaa have never looked forward they tied to stop tape recorders then VCRs after that DVD recorders now the internet this lot always look back.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:34am

    RE: the concert profit (or lack thereof)..

    If the revenue tripled (i.e. increased by 300%), then declined by 15%, then 4% in the following 2 years.. isn't that still a 268.8% increase overall (assuming my maths is correct)?

    Why is the industry complaining again?

     

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    saulgoode (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:39am

    Regardless of the metrics you choose, the trends in the United States have been clear, with a market less than half as large as it was 10 years ago and 60% fewer employees in the music business.

    And what did you expect to happen once you started calling your customers thieves and suing them?

     

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    Colin, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:42am

    Re:

    You need to stop with the cherry picking, and go look at things overall. You won't be able to be so cheerful at that point.

    Um...he is looking at things overall. And overall, there's growth. That was kind of the whole point.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:48am

    While you certainly have every right to critique Mr. Liebowitz's paper, pejorative/insulting comments directed at him and his study are uncalled for.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:48am

    If the music industry would focus their spending on making music and not buying politicians, it would be fine.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re:

    Do you know where I could get a good price on my lightly used buggy whip?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re:

    It's not just the music industry either. The every industry is dying. CRT television sales are in the toilet! The industry has to be saved! Think of the children!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:55am

    Re:

    They didn't say that revenue declined by 15% then 4%, they said ticket sales declined by those percentages. Revenue could still have increased due to the ever increasing price of concert tickets.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Physically going to rent movies from Blockbuster is declining! The movie industry is being decimated! The attendance level for theater-going has declined 68% since the 1930s! Panic!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re:

    Correction, I reread it and it does say revenue declined, but a 15% drop in ticket sales doesn't mean a 15% drop in revenue due to my above argument.

    Otherwise, yes, while revenue may be down slightly from what it was in 2009, it's still higher today than it was in 2008

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:03am

    "As for the decline in concert revenue"

    and what does concert revenue have to do with piracy. It's not like someone can pirate the entire concert experience. People won't avoid attending a concert because they can pirate a song. If anything, piracy helps more people learn more about the music of a wider variety of musicians and gives people the opportunity to better appreciate more music which will attract more people towards concerts. People know that music sales mostly go to record labels and concerts is how artists make their money so people can use the money they would have spent on music to attend concerts and support artists, something many would rather do.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, but most of it is noise. And noise art is worthless to me because I am a snob. Hobbyist or amateur or independent musicians aren't real musicians.

     

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    Donnicton, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:06am

    Re: They're not looking backwards...

    Actually, you'd think in that position you'd be the first one to see it coming, before it hits the fan...


    ....ahem.

     

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    hfbs (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re:

    So they do. My mistake, apologies.

    But in that case, I find it hard to accept a drop of 19% of ticket sales resulted in a drop of over 300% in revenue, so my original point still kind of stands - even if you factor in the remaining 2 years, wasn't there still an increase in revenue?

    (I got an account in between posting my original post and this)

     

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    Jay (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: Re:

    But think of the children! They have no music to look at now!

     

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    Jay (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:12am

    Re:

    Saying the study is a joke does not make Liebowitz a joke. I'm sure you know that.

     

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    Difster, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:14am

    Concert Data

    Are they just complaining about concerts by THEIR artists? Are these just concerts at major venues?

    What I'd like to know is, are the declining concert revenues they are quoting just for RIAA artists?

    I wonder if more artists are having concerts in venues not handled by the likes of TicketBastard, etc. so their sales are not showing up in the aggregate numbers? How can that be tracked? Just because an artist isn't playing a big venue doesn't mean they're not doing well on a tour. According to the old model, if you didn't get a tour sponsorship from a label you had no chance because they had a corner on promotions, etc. But that has changed now.

    So it's possible that a lot of concert revenue has shifted from traditional venues to alternative venues.

    I'm also curious to see how the RIAA numbers match up with general information about the economy.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:23am

    Re:

    Ah, but then the IFPI (y'know, the org that helps with the RIAA and its ilk) made the original numbers. So that seems...less than sensible.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:25am

    Re: Concert Data

    TRIBUTE BANDS ARE KILLING THE MUSIC INDUSTRY!!!!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:32am

    Re:

    Really? Is his study going to be offended when people insult it?

     

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    Colin, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Well duh. Only the Top 40 is quality music. Everyone knows that, I thought it was a given.

     

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    JayTee (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:40am

    It's interesting...

    The decline of the RIAA's industry has been inversely proportional to the amount of money I've been spending on music at beatport/juno/trackitdown (all dance music emporiums)
    if the RIAA would just follow their lead and...OFFER A DECENT SERVICE THEN WE WILL PAY FOR IT

    :D

     

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    Noah C. (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:41am

    Here's how to support musicians:

    1) Buy the music you like. Period. You like Brittany Spears? Buy her album. Go to her shows. That doesn't mean you don't have to support other artists, like some random indie band you know, like Sufjan Stevens and his work. Buy his album too.

    That's about it. Nothing more than that.

     

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    Jay (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re:

    You should look at the metrics. Mike calling that study a joke is an understatement.

    OH GOSH! Another perjury to Liebowitz's paper. Elbow from the sky!

     

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    Richard (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re:

    To be fair to Liebowitz it is not entirely his fault that his study is a joke. Since he summarises several other studies - many of which are themselves laughable - he was unlikely to be able to do better.

    The basic problem with all these studies is that they attempt to analyse the interaction between a number of inherently unmeasurable things. Liebowitz himself admits that some of the studies use total internet activity as a measure of file sharing. On that measure legitimate displacement of musical entertainment by online entertainment (eg online gaming, social networking, reading and commenting on blogs etc etc) would show up as file sharing impacting recorded music sales. It is that kind of sloppy thinking that makes so many of these so-called studies laughable. If I was peer reviewing any of these they wouldn't see the light of day.

     

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    Prisoner 201, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Definition of a real musician: A person locked into a 360 deal with any of the 3 Big Labels.

    Definition of quality music: Any music from a real artist (see above) that nets one or more of the Big Labels eight figures or more per year.

    Definition of noise: Anything that can negatively impact the quarterly bonus of one or more Big Label CEOs.

    That about sums it up?

     

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    Karl (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 12:03pm

    Re:

    The recorded music industry is dying, getting killed by piracy and perhaps the shorter attention span of people.

    This is ridiculous. The record labels are dying because of Amazon and iTunes, not because of piracy. In fact, the decline in label revenues correlates much more strongly with the ascent of digital sales, than it does with the ascent in piracy levels.

    That's because the only way the Big Six were ever able to make money is by selling physical products at an illegally inflated price. They even tried the same thing with digital sales, but their services failed miserably.

    Once songs became unbundled from full albums, consumers were able to buy only the songs they wanted, without paying for nine songs that they didn't. This is the primary reason that record labels aren't making money anymore. The record labels know it; that's why they tried to kill the CD single long before the internet even entered the picture.

    The labels' declining revenue has everything to do with their own terrible business decisions, and little to do with piracy.

     

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    gorehound (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 12:09pm

    Please support INDIE Art and Boycott all RIAA.We want to see these Big Labels die.They deserve to die.
    Buy INDIE Music and support those INDIE Artists.
    This is how I buy my Art nowadays.No MPAA/RIAA and no way do I ever let those who want to Censor me into my wallet again.

     

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    Atkray (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So does that mean if people only pirate stuff that isn't top 40 we can save the music industry?

     

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    CJ (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 1:17pm

    Cool!

    May the RIAA die a slow and painful death!

     

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    The eejit (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Elbow form the Sky would make an awesome wrestling film title.

     

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    DandonTRJ (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    Vinyl sales dropping? How reality-challenged are you?

    Now look at this statistic here on global Vinyl disc sales! It has been steadily decreasing for the past 10 years!

    Wait, what? Vinyl sales been RISING over the last few years. The BBC just reported a six-year high. Last year, Rolling Stone was all over the vinyl revival and noted that "[t]hough overall album sales dropped 13 percent in 2010, sales of vinyl increased by 14 percent over the previous year, with around 2.8 million units sold" -- a new record for vinyl sales since 1991, when the format basically dropped off the face of the earth.

    So, no. Vinyl sales have not been steadily decreasing for a decade. Quite the opposite.

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

    Oh dear me

    Virtually every neutral academic study (overview here) has concluded that there is real harm to the music community when people download music illegally.

    I tried to read the overview, I really did. Unfortunately I got to page 2 and found:

    What has not been noted is that most estimates indicate that the file-sharing has caused the entire enormous decline in record sales that has occurred over the last decade.


    Really? The entire decline? So nothing else has had any effect at all? Not a global recession? Increase in consumer spending on other forms of entertainment? Nothing?

    If he'd said most even I could have kept going but as it is I was just laughing too hard to read. I'll have to try again when I'm in a particularly sombre mood.

     

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  46.  
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    illuminaut (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

    Re:

    As long as the RIAA continues to convince people that they actually represent the music industry as a whole, they will continue to be able to buy legislation "saving" the industry.

    They are representing a sizable but shrinking roster of artists. That's all. Yes, there are many big names on the roster, and they account for almost all of the Top 40. I think there is room for a group representing the interest of big name artists, but stop claiming to speak for the entire industry, and stop pushing your agenda at the expense of everybody who isn't part of your club.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 2:20pm

    Re:

    Well that's gross.

    Fact is, Masnick got schooled here. And the RIAA was much more polite to him than he or his blog readers are to them.

    I especially love the part where Masnick said the job losses were only based on major labels. Wow, that's some whopping lie there, Masnick. Indies have not only been hurt at least as much, but most in the biz agree they've been hurt more.

    It's well known that you're an intellectually dishonest slimeball, Masnick, but this post really took the cake.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 2:50pm

    FYI;

    Carl Lundström (not Carl Lunstrom)

    Just sayin' Mick

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 2:54pm

    Re:

    Ignore this. This was a comment on the name being spelled wrong, but I posted in the wrong thread.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120220/13260617819/pirate-bay-may-get-blocked-uk-thatl l-stop-infringement.shtml

     

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  50.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re:

    I especially love the part where Masnick said the job losses were only based on major labels. Wow, that's some whopping lie there, Masnick. Indies have not only been hurt at least as much, but most in the biz agree they've been hurt more.

    I'm not saying that there were no indie label job losses, but *the numbers the RIAA points to* are only about the major labels.

    We can discuss other job numbers if you want, but the RIAA's claim of 60% loss in jobs is ONLY about major labels, by their own stats.

    Don't call me a liar when you don't even look at the underlying data.

    It's well known that you're an intellectually dishonest slimeball, Masnick, but this post really took the cake.


    Really? You're the one who failed to look at the data. I'm the one who accurately reported what the RIAA claimed... and I'm the "intellectually dishonest slimeball"? Really?

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 3:31pm

    Here's the problem:
    "RIAA Insists That, Really, The Music Industry Is Collapsing; Reality Shows It's Just The RIAA That's Collapsing"
    From the RIAA's perspective, "RIAA" and "music industry" are synonymous. So when you say, "The music industry is not failing, but the RIAA is," they read that as, "The music industry is not failing, but the music industry is," and claim you're contradicting yourself.

    Of course, in reality, we know they're only a lobbying group representing major music labels, at least two steps removed from people who actually make music. I guess they lie to themselves so they can stand to look themselves in the mirror every morning.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 3:45pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Are you doubling down on your intellectual dishonesty, Masnick?

    The 60% fewer employees number we debunked a few weeks ago

    You're saying 60% is incorrect. It isn't in the least. It's actually likely underestimated.

    So yeah, you're quite the intellectually dishonest slimeball.

    The total numbers at all labels mean that somewhere near 25,000 US jobs have been lost at music labels alone since the advent of digital piracy.

    And you're concerned about the eleven people employed at Reddit. Gotcha.

     

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  53.  
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    Mike C. (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 3:56pm

    Re:

    Oh, that's easy. See, in the modern age, we aparently have to make sure that those who generate an idea are paid. As such, I direct you to the inspiration for my comment:

    1025 F ST N.W.
    10th Floor
    Washington, D.C. 20004
    Attn: Cary Sherman

    :-)

     

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  54.  
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    adsf, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 4:14pm

    sad

    I wish pirating would kill the riaa mpaa

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 4:43pm

    o are we talking about a legacy industry of +- 100,000 jobs that congress is willing to throw millions at to save?

    All I know as a consumer of music is that there are more bands than I can keep track of for the first time in my life - as well as the great Billboard top "hits" being totally unrelated to what is actually being listened to. I don't think they could give away their top "hits" for free even if they wanted to.

    The whole thing sounds like sour grapes when it comes to the RIAA. They should be buried by now. The only thing propping them up has been the extortion money paid by all the Does they served. Bands certainly didn't see a penny of it.

    A few 100k jobs is what congress is willing to throw population and culture under the bus for ... the price of laws has dropped to a new low.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 5:27pm

    "The details -- as we said in our own discussion -- are that there is a lot more competition. So, for those who do not adapt or do not embrace new opportunities, it's no surprise that they face more struggles. But for those who do adapt, things are better. Even more important is that, thanks to these new technologies, services and revenue streams, we have more people who are actually able to make money from their music. "

    More of the best double talk in the internet, I think. You can't have it both ways Mike. Either the new systems are a cornucopia of wealth for those who embrace them, or they are just another case of the rich getting richer.

    So far, you haven't presented much of anything that suggests that the slice of the pie for anyone except the rich is getting any bigger. Concert tickets that have reached outrageous prices, which seems to be what is mostly driving increased live revenues. Are the small to mid sized bands really seeing more money, or (as you say) are they facing more competition, which drives down their revenue? After all, supply and demand says that venues have more choice of artists, and they have to keep ticket prices down in order to keep people coming in (and buying beer and stuff). Is there any indication that these bands are making more?

    It seems like the numbers are stacked against your sunshine speech. Can you bring anything to the table that shows more than a handful of artists making more money on the new business mode train?

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 5:31pm

    Re:

    Concert revenue is suppose to be the savior of the music industry. It's the "scarce" that everyone is suppose to be selling. Give away your music for free, and that will drive demand for your concert tickets, so much so that you will make back whatever you lost giving it all away and more! That's the plan, but it doesn't seem to pan out.

    Rather, it seems like we have tons more bands competing for the same number of venue nights, the same dollars, and almost everyone seems to walk away poorer. I cannot find any numbers anywhere that suggest that the business is so much better for small to mid sized bands.

    As I have mentioned, the staggering increases in ticket prices for the very top artists is also massively skewing the numbers, making it hard to see that there appears to be less money left over at the bottom of the pool to share out - and more people trying to get some. That is never a good combination.

     

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  58.  
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    Steeeeve (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 5:32pm

    Good!

    Now please do us all a favor and kick the bucket allready.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    evan, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 6:40pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:20am

    Who cares? No one is going to buy music in the future unless they take away all other options. You know what? That industry will die. They can try to prolong it with criminal penalties and such but inevitably, Too Damn bad. The CD is obsolete. ITunes is obsolete. They need to adapt or go away.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    evan, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 6:45pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:20am

    Who cares? No one is going to buy music in the future unless they take away all other options for obtaining music and have a police force ready to invade your privacy to tell if you bought your music or not. You know what? That industry will die. They can try to prolong it with criminal penalties and such but inevitably, Too Damn bad. The CD is obsolete. ITunes is obsolete. Paying for media other than a live performance is obsolete. They need to adapt or go away.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    evan, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 6:46pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:20am

    Who cares? No one is going to buy music in the future unless they take away all other options for obtaining music and have a police force ready to invade your privacy to tell if you bought your music or not. You know what? That industry will die. They can try to prolong it with criminal penalties and such but inevitably, Too Damn bad. The CD is obsolete. ITunes is obsolete. Paying for media other than a live performance is obsolete. They need to adapt or go away.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Another AC, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 7:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I can only presume based on your remarks that you lost your job at a major record label then. Like the buggy whip makers, telephone operators, and milk delivery persons before you, it's time to move on AC.

    I suggest a new job in technology, I hear it's booming these days :)

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Another AC, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 7:13pm

    Re: Re:

    "I cannot find any numbers anywhere that suggest that the business is so much better for small to mid sized bands"

    The new world is the new world. It isn't good for some while it is good for others. The old world was the same way, good for some, bad for others.

    Bands have more competition then for concert tickets in the new world... so what? I work hard for my living too.

    I'm not sure what your point is exactly?

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 7:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I've never worked at a record label.

    And since you make moronic analogies comparing recorded music to things people don't want anymore, I'll presume you were born a donkey.

     

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  65.  
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    RadialSkid (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 7:33pm

    Re:

    Why pay a ransom for what others can do better for free?

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Indie, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 7:53pm

    Good ridance

    Good. May they die a slow cancer-is death. This is what happens when you don't seek a cure or take too much time looking for one and hopping it goes away. I myself am a musician and with the power of the internet and other means of selling and promoting I don't need the likes or the recording industry who never gives a shit about anyone about themselves and how much they can muster in cash to line their own pockets.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 7:55pm

    Re:

    What kind of ridiculous spiel are you spewing? Don't you know the one and only threat the music industry will ever face is piracy? Don't waste our time with your delusional doomsday theories!

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 8:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The issue is that increasing revenue without increasing ticket sales is actually a show of the narrowing of the market. It's the same problem the movie business is facing right now. People are quick to point to "record sales", but fail to notice that it's all being done from increased ticket prices, and actual tickets sold is dropping.

    For me, it's the downside of the "selling the scarce" mentality. More and more, the business models seem to be hinging on finding a smaller and smaller group of people to pay more and more money for what are perceived as scarce goods. Most of the time these days the scarcity is that the artists don't seem inclined to tour more than just that.

    What is most scary I think is that as long as they can sell out the venues, they are happy. They don't work to increase shows or seats, they just keep cranking the price. At some point, you will run out of suckers willing to pay.

    It's really the product of all of this "sell the scarce" action, everyone becomes more and more focused on the fewer and fewer people willing to pay big money. It seems more like a death spiral than a business model.

     

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  69.  
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    JMT (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:11pm

    Re: Re:

    "It's well known that you're an intellectually dishonest slimeball..."

    You do realise that comments like this result in you being regarded as a joke, not to be taken even a little bit seriously, right?

     

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  70.  
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    Jay (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You're saying 60% is incorrect. It isn't in the least. It's actually likely underestimated.

    No, what the RIAA was saying with Cary Sherman was that their jobs were at under 10,000. But that's all because it was their own damn fault. Seriously, the RIAA caused all their own problems when they decided to sue all innovators in the music field. While the chart in the link shows sales, it also shows that the RIAA had a massive layoff in 2009. Further, EMI is going bankrupt. Don't you think that's going to cause quite a few jobs to go out of business?

    What's interesting is how you fail to see how the music industry has done quite well even though the RIAA is struggling.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 10:44pm

    Re: Re: They're not looking backwards...

    In a similar vein of humour, I'm sure if you stick yourself in there well enough, maybe burst through a few intestinal walls & such, you'd be able to see it coming right before it comes.

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 12:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You're such a worthless fool, Jay.

    Is this your latest attempt at a silly meme this week? That no jobs were lost at record labels since Napster?

    It's idiots like you that only serve to prove the point that there are dangerous idiots walking around. And they are talking and typing.

    Thanks for that.

    When it comes to piracy debate, all we have to do is copy and paste you and your ilk's missives to our congresspeople; no explanation is even necessary.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    THATGUY, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 12:28am

    Re: They're not looking backwards...

    unless it's poop

     

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  74.  
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    Jay (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 1:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How in hell did you get that no jobs were lost at record labels when I said they caused their own downfall?

    They sued people for years, culminating into the massive layoffs in '09.

    Stop setting up those strawmen and actually pay attention to what people say. You might gain more respect even if your argument is wrong in its assumptions.

     

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  75. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 1:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The layoffs didn't start in '09, you moron.

    You have no fucking idea what you're blabbing about, do you, pirate boy?

    Let's keep this going. Keep saying stupid shit. I love using your quotes.

     

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  76.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 1:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "comparing recorded music to things people don't want anymore"

    People don't want transport, telecommunications and milk any more?

    If you don't get what I mean there, you're still misunderstanding one of the central points being raised for the last decade or so.

     

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  77.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 1:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And layoffs don't cause a business to fail, you fucking idiot. They are done to keep a company from going under. They are a symptom, not a cause.

    Extra layoffs happened at EVERY company in '09.

    Why were the labels laying off people throughout the 2000s?

    Piracy devoured their revenue. Everyone knows it, including you, but keep pretending that it didn't. And keep pretending a business shouldn't try to stop people from ripping off their much-desired product.

    I love quoting nutjobs like you and Masnick to demonstrate the mentality of those that hate copyright. It just reinforces why Congress can make a choice to protect IP, or leave the world to talentless goofballs like you people.

     

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  78.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 1:37am

    Re:

    ...during a major worldwide recession with wide-ranging competition not only from legal sources (digital radio, streaming services, etc), but also other industries (movies and videogame markets have both increased significantly in the same period)...

     

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  79.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 2:00am

    Re: Re:

    "It's the "scarce" that everyone is suppose to be selling."

    No, it's just one example of a scarce good that cannot be infinitely copied. Like the "lots of tshirts" idiocy, this only goes to show you haven't understood the basic concepts being discussed and have a shocking lack of imagination.

    "As I have mentioned"

    Never citing figures or sources, never accepting that other legitimate points of view or explanations exist, only presenting your own opinions without credentials and expecting people to swallow them without question. I wonder why people don't believe you?

     

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  80.  
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    Jay (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 2:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Who's the moron? I said they were a result.

    How about backing up an argument instead of ad homs?

     

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  81.  
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    Jay (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 2:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And let's take this a bit further. They sued for $16 million, and got $391,000 back. That isn't piracy, that's the RIAA being stupid.

    Piracy didn't cause their problems. Their problems were caused when they decided that relying on copyright is better than figuring out that the time of CDs came to an end.

     

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  82.  
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    Miso Susanowa, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 4:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I've never worked at a record label."

    Well, I have - at several, actually. And I've worked the entire industry from retail record sales on up to corporate contracts.

    I would like to know (and I'm sure many others here would like to know) exactly what personal experience you have, from "down in the machine shop" to piloting a contract. I'd like to know what you know about retail sales, what customers want, the unavailability of perennial favorites so that the major labels can push the "new new" and ignore legions of fans happy to plunk down $15 for that Ten Years After set, the holding back of live material which many would pay for, the kickbacks & bribery of pay-to-play to Billboard & other reporting agencies, the amounts claimed as "spoilage" that are unpunched "promos", the promotions paid for but never actually done, the use of strongarm tactics with radio stations to ensure an album is overplayed and called "a hit" when it's selling less than 30% of an independent release...

    I could go on and on, but I only engage in debate with peers. What, exactly, is your experience in this area? Please be specific and don't make stuff up because I'm sitting here ready to tear any falsehoods, waffling, made-up bullshit and numbers-out-of-your-ass with 30 years of hard, cold experience.

    Your turn.

     

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  83.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 4:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You're saying 60% is incorrect. It isn't in the least. It's actually likely underestimated.


    I said it was debunked as in the claim that 60% represented employment across the industry. It didn't. It only counted major labels. Employment across the wider industry has GROWN. You should check your sources, because you're wrong. Again. As per usual.

    So yeah, you're quite the intellectually dishonest slimeball.


    You keep claiming that... and you seem to only do it after making some statement that is flat out wrong.

    I really don't get it. Why do you hate me so much when I'm the one whose always right on these things, and you're a failure in the industry who has admitted that the bands you work with can't make any money any more. Meanwhile, the aritsts I've worked with keep talking about how they're making more money than ever.

    Oh wait... perhaps I know why you have to keep defaming me. Because sooner or later, your "friends" are going to go talk to someone who actually can help them. And that's not you.

    And you're concerned about the eleven people employed at Reddit. Gotcha.


    Huh? Who said that? I'm concerned about the overall economy, and the fact that ALL of the net job growth in the economy has come from startups.

    Of course, you'll never admit that. Because you can't admit the truth. Because that would mean admitting that you've been on this site lying for a couple years now.

    What a sad angry little man.

     

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  84.  
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    Merle, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 5:06am

    Buggy Whip Manufacturer's Lament

    You know, I can't help but mention that I was thinking along the same lines.

    Alas for the whalebone corset-maker, the buggy-whip manufacturer, and the RIAA, if they don't pull their heads out of their asses.

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 5:40am

    Re: Re:

    You didn't answer my question; How pathetic are you to be an RIAA fanboi?

     

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  86.  
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    Miso Susanowa, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 5:52am

    Re:

    Firstly, if you had anything to say you believed in, you'd use your name. Second, your approach of vituperative claptrap supports the argument that you have nothing cogent or germaine to say.

    Given that, however, I'd again like to ask you what, exactly, is your experience in these matters? And I don't mean reading a bunch of papers.

    The "music industry", which actually means "the gatekeeper/promoters" is dying because for almost 30 years, they have refused to sell people what people are waiting for with money in hand. I'd be happy to back that up with reams and reams and reams of sales data over, say, a sample, 10-year period.

    Do a little research on "back catalog sales" and get back to me. In the meantime, bands like the Grateful Dead, who have freely encouraged taping and swapping, have only had more sales as a result of contact & dialogue with the fan base. I'd go on and on with more examples, but I'm pretty sure you won't read them, or even research to have some kind of comeback position other than "I pulled it out of my ass."

    Go back to shilling for a dying, myopic industry. I still want your bona fides/resume/cv.

     

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  87.  
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    Don't Toews Me Bro, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 6:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No one gave a shit about the previous company i worked for going out of business. No lobbyists poured into DC to save my job and my boss' store. There was no legislation passed to preserve our business and revenue.

    if you think i have any milligram of empathy for a bunch of lawyers, leeches, and a small group of "artsy-fartsies" you are sorely mistaken.

    you all can go find another fucking job just like i had to.

     

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  88.  
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    Karl (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:05am

    Re:

    Either the new systems are a cornucopia of wealth for those who embrace them, or they are just another case of the rich getting richer.

    This is what is called a "false dichotomy." There is a third option: that the rich are slightly less rich, those at the bottom are universally better off, and those in the middle are either better or worse off, depending upon how well they compete.

    This is, in fact, the case. As the report shows, it's the bands who are outside of the RIAA clients who have benefited the most by the democratization of communication and distribution models. They are also facing increased competition - as is everyone, no matter what "tier" you are.

    Here's a simplified version. Let's say there are 1000 active musicians. Under the old system, only 10 of those musicians had the opportunity to make any money whatsoever, and out of those 10, only 1 actually recouped and made money from record sales. That means there were 900 musicians who made nothing, and 9 musicians who made nothing from record sales (though they can earn wages from other sources) - and furthermore do not own the rights to their own music.

    Under the modern system, all 1000 of those active musicians now have distribution and promotion. Most still won't earn a living wage from music, but all 1000 will make at least a little money. That means that, even if though there's not "a cornucopia of wealth," that means that 900 active musicians are better off than they would be under the old system. And, even if only a slight percentage (say, 5%) of those 1000 artists make a living wage, that's still 50 musicians - a net increase of 5x from the old system (at least).

    And that's assuming that the total amount of money spent on music is flat. It's not. It's increasing, and has been increasing steadily for at least a decade.

    Are the small to mid sized bands really seeing more money, or (as you say) are they facing more competition, which drives down their revenue?

    Under the old system, small to mid sized bands were locked out of the system, for the most part. Only larger bands were allowed to compete at all. And those bands were competing, not for a living wage, but for "hits." Unless you created a platinum album, you didn't make money under the traditional system. You either grabbed the brass ring, or you failed; there was no middle ground.

    The new system is promoting a new, growing, middle class of musicians that could not exist under the old model. That's reflected in the fact that independent artists benefit more than those still creating under the traditional model. Their revenue is increasing, as the study demonstrates.

    This is hardly unique to music, by the way. YouTube in particular has created a new middle class of working video artists who would not have made any money whatsoever under the old model. And that's just one company; there are many more - and many more to come. We're still at the very beginning of this revolution... assuming we don't allow the RIAA/MPAA to create laws that quash it.

     

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  89.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Piracy devoured their revenue. Everyone knows it, including you, but keep pretending that it didn't. And keep pretending a business shouldn't try to stop people from ripping off their much-desired product."

    Independent musicians have been promoting/sharing their music on the internet for well over a decade. If piracy is what's "killing the industry" then this should've had a domino effect across the entire business ...yet it hasn't. Somehow, despite widespread file-sharing, independent artists have adapted and profited from the new internet medium. They were able to take file-sharing and use it to their own advantage, promote themselves and foster sizeable fanbases. It does not speak well of the major labels when a bunch of supposed "amateur" musicians are apparently more capable at running a business than they are.

     

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  90.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Piracy devoured their revenue. Everyone knows it, including you, but keep pretending that it didn't. And keep pretending a business shouldn't try to stop people from ripping off their much-desired product."

    Several things came together to cause the sales slump that occurred to the big 3-5 record labels. Changes to format, a loss of repeat sales as mp3 don't unravel, singles as opposed to album sales, and competition from a couple million bands online. Its very predictable.

     

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  91.  
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    Thomas, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:27am

    Not so fast!

    For us indie artists out there, especially ones in my genre.. we've not seen a big "pickup" in sales or even downloads, really.

    I hear people saying that making things free of putting your stuff out to torrents makes a big difference, but unfortunately I've tried all of the above, and none of those things work. I didn't see any sales increases, but what I did see was people overlooking my music since it was on a torrent site. While I don't agree with the RIAA's crying about the music industry dying at all, I also don't feel it's getting any better in its current state.

     

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  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:32am

    Fuck the riaa. They are going to have a hard time stopping the German space pirating program which seeks to launch its own internet service in space which is not controlled by any government and is considered international space no one country or group of nations can control it. Hackers are winning and there's nothing the riaa can do.

     

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  93.  
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    Michael, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:42am

    Re: Not so fast!

    "For us indie artists out there, especially ones in my genre.. we've not seen a big "pickup" in sales or even downloads, really."

    Depends on who you are, how good your music is, how you promote yourself, et al. As is common knowledge, there are hundreds of thousands of musicians vying for attention, so you have to stand out from the crowd in some way. There's much more to the music business than throwing up your music on the internet, sitting back and waiting for success to come knocking down your door.

    "I hear people saying that making things free of putting your stuff out to torrents makes a big difference, but unfortunately I've tried all of the above, and none of those things work. I didn't see any sales increases, but what I did see was people overlooking my music since it was on a torrent site."

    The music you make available is supposed to act as a promotional tool moreso than a means to generate profit. With regards to the actual music itself, once again, it must *stand out*. You cannot expect the internet to create your success for you; you still have to go out and make yourself known. Simply throwing your music up on a torrent site gives you about the same chance at success as playing in a room along with 1,000,000 other people. For one thing, how are people going to know to look for you when they don't even know who you are? 99.9% of the time, people who download torrents are looking for something specific.

     

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  94.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 7:44am

    Re: Not so fast!

    "I hear people saying that making things free of putting your stuff out to torrents makes a big difference, but unfortunately I've tried all of the above, and none of those things work"

    Not to criticise you, but is that all you tried? If you just put it online and waited for extra sales, that's what gets referred to as "give away and pray", something often as criticised here as the "traditional" models the RIAA are trying to salvage. There has to be something more, a *reason* for people to pay you money, even if it's just thanks for the music they've already enjoyed.

    What else did you try in your business model? Did you offer easy links back to your own gig pages, merchandise or to where people can pay for their "free" album if they liked it? Did you get fans involved in promotion, such as using social media to increase your visibility outside of your normal fanbase? What else did you do to get people involved and make them want to pay?

    "people overlooking my music since it was on a torrent site"

    Again, not to be too doubtful, but why would you think this? By "people" do you mean listeners or people in the industry? I can't think of many people who would skip past a band they might want to listen to just because the filename ends in .torrent instead of .mp3. I can, however, think of many who would check out a new band for free.

    Also, to be blunt, are you any good? Being an indie musician doesn't mean much if people don't like you. There's a lot of competition out there after all. Perhaps you could identify yourself so that people can check out your music?

     

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  95.  
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    trparky (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Um... let's back up a moment here.

    So by your logic, if a group isn't represented by a "big name record label" they aren't musicians? Biggest bunch of fucking bullshit I've seen a long time, and I've seen a lot of bullshit on the Internet.

    This is my set of criteria that I use to describe a musician, it doesn't have to include all of the bullet points.
    * A person who sings in band/group.
    * A person who plays an instrument in a band/group.
    * A band/group that comes together and makes *gasp* music.
    * A band/group that people come to see and enjoy hearing their music.

    Nowhere in that list is a bullet point that states that they have to be signed by some "big name record label" like EMI. You, jackass... fail.

     

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  96.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    2012
    More people are making music.
    More people are listening to music.
    More people are finding music.
    More people are buying music.
    More people are making money off music.

    Labels are shuttering/merging and cutting back.

    Seems like only some people can't figure out to make money off of music.

     

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  97.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Nice job! #winning @faketroll

     

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  98.  
    identicon
    NINa, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 12:06pm

    Re:

    Besides everybody who writes about music on-line or else IS in the music industry. There are platforms to let such music professionals make real deals for real money and hardly any of these people work for any major labels but independently, for well known reasons. Bloggers, podcasters, magazine owners, YouTubers, reviewers, etc. RIAA is as stiff as Wikipedia. For them a 'reliable source' is something what was 1) printed, 2) published by Big Name, 3) they have seen it.

     

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  99.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Feb 21st, 2012 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re:

    I cannot find any numbers anywhere that suggest that the business is so much better for small to mid sized bands.

    You label goons can't even find the numbers that you are supposed to track (Kenny's royalties). No surprise you wouldn't bother to look at any real numbers.

     

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  100.  
    identicon
    BigJonno, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 3:52pm

    Re: Re:

    The irony here is that cylinder sales probably took a bit of a jump recently thanks to The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing actually releasing them.

     

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  101.  
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    FarmerBob (profile), Feb 26th, 2012 @ 1:19pm

    The only reports that hold any credance are . . .

    . . . those from the artists themselves that state that when they produce, market and sell their products themselves, they sell more and make more money off the endeavor and have a higher rate of consumer interest and return on future projects. The only problem is that there are no big named, money vacuuming record labels or the like in the loop. Although, that's not a problem for the artist or the consumer.

     

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  102.  
    identicon
    Kevin, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 8:01pm

    It all boils down to one thing

    I have read so many articles on this subject yet rarely do I see any comment on the real reason the major's are fighting tooth and nail to retain their control.
    The most important control any company has is distribution for it is those who control distribution control the industry.
    Take supermarkets as an example. They spend millions on distribution. If a manufacturer does no comply with the distribution rules then their product never makes it to the shelves.
    The music industry is the same. As long as they controlled distribution they controlled content. No small company could distribute their product to every record store in the world. They had little choice but to rely on the majors and to do that they either sold out or towed the line.
    The Internet changed all that. All of a sudden there is a distribution system that is cheap, easy and global and out of the control of the big 4.
    This and this alone is why the majors are panicking. The tables are turning where soon the artist will dictate conditions and the majors will have little choice but to accept this or be left with only a backlog library.
    The era of the control of music being in the hands of the artists has begun and may it prosper.

     

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  103.  
    identicon
    hurricane head, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 10:29am

    Re: The only reports that hold any credance are . . .

    instead of money vacuuming labels, there are now money vacuuming tech companies paying NOTHING to artists like the pirate bay. so techdirt's answer to one injustice is to support a greater injustice, awesome.

     

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  104.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Re: The only reports that hold any credance are . . .

    "there are now money vacuuming tech companies paying NOTHING to artists like the pirate bay."

    So Spotify, Pandora, Hulu, YouTube, Amazon, 7digital, Kickstarter, eMusic, iTunes, Rdio, we7, last.fm, turntable.fm, etc, etc. pay nothing at all to copyright holders despite the massive pressures put on them to shoulder all the risk taken by dinosaur major labels?

    Why don't you tell them that, I'm sure they'll be glad to hear most of their bills are fictional.. I'm sure they'd also be glad to hear that their international reach and profits aren't actually being smothered by major label attempts to restrict them.

     

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  105.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2012 @ 5:38pm

    Re: They're not looking backwards...

    *** TuneCore does not report results to Nielsen Soundscan and it puts out a hell of a lot of releases. Similarly, CDBaby/Disc Makers points out that Soundscan doesn't count its releases either -- which number around 50,000. ***

    Yikes! You guys are so clueless... you might actually want to learn about the industry you are reporting on... Of course Tunecore and CDBaby don't report to Soundscan as Soundscan records all transactions at POINT OF SALE, which means that actually ALL SALES of titles released by both TuneCore and CDBaby actually ARE REPORTED and active... that's right, EVERY SINGLE title released by TUNECORE and CDBABY is actually recorded with Soundscan, just like every other transaction reported from Itunes, Amazon, etc...

    Good Grief... who does your fact checking? Laughable that you don't even understand the most basic mechanics of the things you are reporting on... so much for credibility...

    What's worse, don't you actually GET PAID as a consultant to actually know this stuff? Sad, sad, sad...

     

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  106.  
    icon
    AndyD273 (profile), May 1st, 2013 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Buggy Whip Manufacturer's Lament

    The real failure of the buggy whip industry was their unwillingness to explore other markets.
    Like S&M.
    A true lack of creative thinking and problem solving.

     

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


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