Is File Sharing The RIAA's Real Problem?

Peter F Bradshaw writes “The RIAA has reported that the number of CDs shipped last year dropped by 15.8%. Further they shriek this is because all you nasty, anti social, people out there have been sharing your music and thereby taking the food out of starving musicians mouths ™. But is this really the case? According to this article at the NY Times at least some industry executives think that this is not the full story. In fact it seems that industry structural issues have more to do with the sales trends than anything else. Industry research has identified two categories of music file sharer: those who buy more CDs as a result of sharing and those who buy less.” This isn’t new, and record industry execs have been willing to admit this quietly for years – but that still hasn’t stopped them from calling off the RIAA’s lawyers from suing everyone they can find. The music industry, no matter what they say, has made the (backwards) strategic decision to alienate their customers rather than proactively adjust to a changing marketplace.

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Comments on “Is File Sharing The RIAA's Real Problem?”

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westpac says:

good article

That’s a pretty good take on the whole scene. I can’t stand boy bands or airhead teenyboppers so I have to listen to the alternative stations to find something worth listening to. If the RIAA needs a whipping boy, blame ClearChannel. Every station they acquire immediately becomes some sort of “Stepford Wives” radio station. If you have enough free time you can count the number of songs in the rotation and predict when they’ll be played again.

Back in the early 90s I replaced the bulk of my vinyl collection with CDs. It has gotten cost-prohibitive now though, and now I am replacing my tapes by burning them on CD. For the cost of five new music CDs I can purchase a CD burner, a hundred blank CD-Rs, and the software to burn old LPs and tapes onto CD. I only do this with music I already own because the original media is deteriorated badly. But if I were unable to do this I would not purchase new CDs because most of it is music I rarely listen to and wouldn’t spend the money to upgrade. Otherwise I would have done so ten years ago.

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