Record Store Owners Blame RIAA For Destroying The Music Industry

from the nice-work dept

It's not like it hasn't been said many times before, but it's nice to see the NY Times running an opinion piece about the RIAA from a pair of record store owners which basically points out how at every opportunity, the RIAA has made the wrong move and made things worse:
The major labels wanted to kill the single. Instead they killed the album. The association wanted to kill Napster. Instead it killed the compact disc. And today it's not just record stores that are in trouble, but the labels themselves, now belatedly embracing the Internet revolution without having quite figured out how to make it pay.
Also, it's not every day that you see a NY Times piece use the word "boneheadedness" to describe the strategy of an organization. At this point, this story has been so obvious for so long, it's worth asking why anyone (well, mainly policy makers in DC) still bother listening to the RIAA. If you could have scripted out the worst possible strategy to damage your own industry, I don't think you could have planned anything worse than what the RIAA has actually done.

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  1. identicon
    nonuser, 7 Apr 2007 @ 11:50am

    headline is misleading

    From the article:

    By 2002, it was clear that downloading was affecting music retail stores like ours. Our regulars weren’t coming in as often, and when they did, they weren’t buying as much. Our impulse-buy weekend customers were staying away altogether. And it wasn’t just the independent stores; even big chains like Tower and Musicland were struggling.

    In other words, it was not the RIAA that killed the profitability of the record stores... it was file sharing! And this gives lie to those who claim that sharing is essentially victimless because people would never have paid for the music anyway.

    But the authors of the piece clearly want to let off some steam over the failure of their cherished business, and they can't afford to insult their customer base in their new one. So they blame the record labels (or the RIAA which is not really the same thing, but is a convenient bogeyman because the labels actually designed it that way). Sure, the labels made mistakes. But it's easy to make mistakes when your business is collapsing and your business environment is changing on a daily basis.


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