Recording Industry's Own Study Shows File Sharing Not A Big Deal

from the oh,-look-at-that.... dept

There have been plenty of academic studies over the years that have suggested that file sharing (a) doesn’t hurt the music industry, and may help it and (b) the reason music sales are down often has nothing to do with file sharing. However, every time this evidence is presented, the recording industry ignores it, and trots out its own, often questionable, studies instead. Well, now the Canadian equivalent of the RIAA has done one of their own studies — but released the details very quietly. Perhaps that’s because the study pretty much disproves much of what the recording industry keeps claiming. It shows that those who download music from file sharing services are the people who tend to buy the most music. It also shows that teenagers (who we’re told repeatedly never buy CDs) are actually the biggest purchasers of music CDs. It shows that those who don’t buy much music don’t do so because it’s freely available — but because there are other things they can do with their money, they find it to be too expensive, or they just feel they have enough music already. In other words, the study supports what many, many people have been telling the recording industry for ages. So, will the recording industry wake up and admit any of this — even when it’s their own study? Of course not. It pretty much boggles the mind to realize that the industry has a study that shows their own strategy is hurting their market, and they refuse to believe it. That takes a special kind of business cluelessness.

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Comments on “Recording Industry's Own Study Shows File Sharing Not A Big Deal”

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Username1 says:

The RIAA acts like it deserves millions in sales for every product it illegally promotes through payola crimes.

Then illegally sales through price fixing crimes.

Then illegally hijacks your computer with through rootkit and DRM virus crimes.

It is not our job or obligation to keep the RIAA in business.

It is not our responsibility to buy their products.

And any musician or artist that supports or is supported buy the RIAA and it’s member companies does not deserve your money.

And does not deserve your support.

Realize the truth , your favorite RIAA band does not like you.

They like the RIAA. Not you.

When the RIAA does lawsuits , it’s really your favorite RIAA band suing you.

The RIAA just takes the heat…

fuzzmanmatt (user link) says:

For the price of a CD a month, I can listen to all the streaming audio I want, and take my satellite radio with me anywhere I go. Why would I need to buy an actual album anymore? I’m more than happy to pay Sirius their cut, and download the songs I like from iTunes, or just wait for them to come on again. “Life’s so hard… we make junk and charge more for it, but people just aren’t buying it!”

Sean (user link) says:

The Hole Is Already Dug

Well of course they won’t admit they were wrong now. They’ve acted like a bunch of thugs for the past couple years, suing little ol’ ladies for the social security checks, invading peoples privacy.

If they now admit they were wrong, they’d really look like a-holes. The only thing they can do now, if they chose to believe the studies, is slowly back out of the lime-light and fade in to the background. Shhh… we were never here.

icepick314 says:

too many competition

with DVD, games, movie theaters, electronics….

comsumer entertainment dollar is just too stretched thin….course RIAA thinks it’s all piracy’s fault….

why can’t they support online music store where people do not HAVE to buy a $15 CD for one or two songs?

if they wise up and get music stores to cooperate where people have more choices in software and hardware, ie Apple locked in their own universe and everything else not as robust as iTunes, they won’t have ANYTHING to complain about except normal piracy here and there….

piracy WILL continue to exist no matter WHAT RIAA or MPAA or whatever letter companies do…it’s how they will get most normal people to buy at a fair price instead of hunting them like The FBI 10 Most Wanted….

Sean (user link) says:

The Time's They Are A Changing

The whole entertainment industry is going belly-up. The only movie theatre in my town, the only one within 50 miles, just went out of business.

People have new ways of getting their daily fix of entertainment. Hey RIAA/MPAA, sorry you built an entire industry around a fad, but you can’t try to keep your bottom line by changing your business model to suing people.

RenderingSanity says:

Finding that elusive middleground...

In defense of the music industry, while the people at the top of the chain have everything they need/want/ever could want, there are thousands of people lower on the ladder that need the jobs the industry provides. They have families to feed and bills to pay just like all of us.

Thankfully though, the smaller, independant labels, embracing emerging technologies that reduce the need for high production overhead, massive advertising campains(as many cater to niche markets), such as have been able to give musical artists up to a 50/50 cut of royalties while at the same time lowering the prices of their music to the audience.

This particular independant label had a demo disc out last year that actually read “rip us off!” on it, with a track requesting that you copy the CD for your friends, rip it to your computer and share it online, anything to spead the word.

Even now they offer free songs from every artist they promote, showing once again that instead of running from the evil internet(which makes me ask, why haven’t they blame Al Gore yet? He invented the internet after all…), embracing it will ultimately put you ahead of the game.

Support the independant labels, they have out interests at heart.

If you’re wondering, I’m not here to pump 7spin, though I have booked their bands for a few concerts and was VERY impressed with the whole concept in the end.

Marc says:

It's all Economics

The RIAA’s problems don’t come from piracy, they come from basic economics. Ever since the MP3 format became widly used, music in digital format for computers or MP3 players became so much more convinient than CD’s. The RIAA refuses to drop the prices of CD’s even though the demand for them has dropped considerably, especially with the advent of onilne music stores. The RIAA is in for even more trouble down the road if they don’t get out of this rut that CD’s are the way to go. CD’s are the way of the past, everything’s digital now, and if they don’t realize that soon they’ll get lost in the dust of the rest of industry. Not that I’d complain if they did dissapear for good….

Jim says:

RIAA thinks focus groups are never wrong

RIAA believes that if a focus group says a song is good and the marketing people back it up then it should make a million dollars. If not then it must be the consumer who is stealing it.

How could statistics, marketing and focus groups be wrong?

The RIAA does not realize two things:

1) if it sucks no one wants it (even if your focus groups and marketing people tell you otherwise)

2) Any First year marketing/statistics person will tell that your market analysis can always be flawed and tell you the wrong things.

The RIAA lives in its own world. I am boycotted all RIAA backed groups. I am sure they will see the lose of revenue as a sure sign that I must be pirating there stuff. Nothing like a group with it’s head stuck up it’s own ass.

Curtis Edenfield says:

Economics 101

Ok here’s a basic breakdown. Label producers call up a company that replicates CD’s and ask them to make 20,000 copies, at a cost of about .60cents per copy. Now they arange for distrubution, tack on another .25cents. Ok now they have to promote it, ads, radio play, the band making personal apperences, this is were we see the biggest jump, about $1 to a $3 depending on how big the band is. Then there’s the band, the recording studio and managers, that’s about $1.20 to $1.60. These prices reflect a standered EP contract about 4 to 6 songs a full LP 12 to 16 is slightly less, but the resale price is almost the same as an EP. The RIAA also adds on about $1 to $1.70 to cover thier operating costs. The final markup is the final distributor, the record store, about 30 to 50%.

The bands really don’t make much off of album sales because of the supplychain involved, this is the only way the RIAA exist. Bands that make it get thier money by doing concerts. Do the math if you sell 50,000 tickets at $40 a pop then you do this 4 times a month for 9 months, tell me who’s makeing the money.

To boycott the RIAA you would have to stop buying CD’s totally, except for indie labels. The RIAA will always be a part of every populur band that is played on the radio, satellite, or TV.

Myself I’m just gonna buy the music I like, an forget the RIAA ever existed, I might even go to a concert or 2. Korn will be here in a coupla weeks.

freakengine says:

First of all, Curtis, no record store has ever had a 50% markup on music. That’s insane. I worked in music retail for six years, and never saw margins like that…not even on full retail, which is not what most record stores charge.

Second, I am fully capable of downloading anything I choose for free, but do I? No. Why not? There’s not much out there worth having, and the stuff that is good, is often very difficult to find. You sure don’t find it on Clear Channel stations (not even “indie” 103 here in LA) or on Sirius.

simet says:

File Sharing

Commercial radio is terrible pre-programmed crap and this stops anyone from finding out about new groups in anything but pop crap. being able to search for concert recordings or an artists and hear recent albums has caused me to go out and BUY CD’s or at least buy iTunes.

The same has happened with Sat radio.

Maybe now that the record companies have been hit with payolla lawsuits (and lost) maybe they will realize that they are the cause of most of their problems.

Hire real DJs again

Make the cost structure of CDs realistic (cost is

Chris H says:

I find the music I like thanks to streaming audio. No ads or commercials. I’m not sure how they stay in business but… they’re great. That’s how I found Tommy Sunshine who has some really cool remixes.

I haven’t bought a CD in years. I can’t remember the name of it either. I haven’t even downloaded a song in probably 2+ years, just because there isn’t anything I’ve really liked. It’s all pop crap.

Sohrab says:

see, just because they normally wouldnt spend the money on the CD anyways, so by them downloading, makes no difference is crap.

Its taking away from the artist or company. why is it that we look and say, “hey, going to the store and taking a cd without paying is stealing” but when it comes to downloading, we try to justify it?

S5th says:

“When the RIAA does lawsuits , it’s really your favorite RIAA band suing you.”

good reverasal.

“Why would I need to buy an actual album anymore?”

Some people have attachments to there cds.

“why can’t they support online music store where people do not HAVE to buy a $15 CD for one or two songs? ”

theres an interesting answer to this one….

“I do believe one of my favorite sayings is…… THE RIAA CAN SUCK ON THIS! *holds up a $21.95 CD*”


“They have families to feed and bills to pay just like all of us. ”

I hear yea kinda.

“Al” Gore hmmm….

“everything’s digital now, and if they don’t realize that soon they’ll get lost in the dust of the rest of industry.”

Well they were slow to pick up the ball and run with digital technology, now they are playing catchup…

“The RIAA can suck balls. The labels can suck balls. And the artists can suck balls too since they all contribute to keeping the RIAA in existence.”

Thats a strong statement….

“The same has happened with Sat radio. ”

I use to be able to call in an request songs to be on the sat and regular radio and they would play them right away…

Mr Rat says:

CC music

More and more there are alternatives to RIAAs crap, check out sites like:

half the joy is in sampling what these independent musicians have on offer – and IF you like it then you can choose to buy it, or not – whatever – and you can search for this stuff on Limewire by searching by license type (creative commons) – (verify the license by hovering over the link)

File sharing plays a vital role in ensuring alternative musicians have a forum where they can be found – they cant access television or radio without colluding with RIAA, they cant be found on the net (what are you going to search for ?music? – if you dont know their name its pretty hard) so file sharing provides a level playing field. Of course RIAA know this – thats why their soooooo keen to destroy it – god forbid we should be capable of making our own choices.

Dave Reed (profile) says:

Just dinosaurs thrashing around

The RIAA is just another pre-digital dinosaur. Their business model is failing, fast. They see the money going away and decided to try to suck the last dollar out of the current model. It’s a short-term problem.

As the indie bands and web sites grow, they take market share away from the RIAA. At the moment, artists still like the idea of ‘getting signed’. In a few years, nobody will care if some record company exec likes you or not. It will be important to get good numbers on some web site that measures downloads. Or to get good reviews. Or something like that.

In the meantime, the RIAA is thrashing around, stepping on people, suing them, and generally acting like a T-Rex with the blind-staggers. Sooner or later, they will pass into history.

Of course, the SMART execs will be gone before then.

Watch for the execs to jump ship.. That will be the clue that the RIAA lables are just about gone.

just my 2 cents,

take it for what it’s worth.

Strega42 (user link) says:

Baen's free library

If you read through the Prime Palaver newsletter section in the free library, you’ll find some interesting statements on the RIAA and how they operate by Janis Ian.

I expect most of you are too young to care who she is :-p

Anywho, it’s worth checking out. And there’s free books in the library, unencrypted, and not requiring registration. The idea is for the Baen publisher to prove that filesharing INCREASES sales.

So far, it’s working like a charm.

Don says:

Re: Baen's free library

>> “If you read through the Prime Palaver newsletter section in the free library, you’ll find some interesting statements on the RIAA and how they operate by Janis Ian. ”

You can find links to a number of good articles she’s written from her wikipedia entry refuting in detail many of the RIAA claims.

BTW, she also happens to be one of the artists the RIAA claims to protect.

>> “I expect most of you are too young to care who she is :-p ”

Anyone opposed to current RIAA policy would probably care who she is even if she hasn’t had a hit in probably 20 years lol

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