More Interesting Northern European Analyses Of The Music Industry

from the history-and-data dept

I'm not entirely sure why, but it appears that a bunch of folks in the northern parts of Europe are doing some rather interesting analyses of the recording industry in that region. Perhaps it's the fact that so much attention has been placed on those regions thanks to file sharing services like The Pirate Bay and Mininova (both based there), but either way, we keep seeing studies from such countries that seem worth talking about. Last month, it was a detailed and fascinating study on file sharing in the Netherlands, which suggested (again) that it was a business model issue rather than a legal one, and now a bunch of folks have sent in a study from Norway claiming that those who download are much more likely to buy music than those who don't. We've seen analogous studies saying similar things in the past, so this is no surprise.

Separately, a couple weeks ago someone sent in (and I have to apologize, because I can't find who it was now) a long but fascinating study from Finland on the history of two of the more successful record labels (warning: pdf file) in that country. The key finding shouldn't be all that surprising. Both record labels were more successful when they focused not on how to make the most money, but on experimenting with new business models and embracing the music for the sake of the art, rather than solely as a business proposition. This is a point that often seems to get lost in these discussions. If you focus on doing something you love, the opportunities to make money tend to provide themselves. If you focus just on making money, you often find that you hate what you do... and the money isn't as readily available.

Filed Under: northern europe, recording industry, studies


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  • identicon
    greg, 21 Apr 2009 @ 5:43am

    and wall street says:

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

    • identicon
      greg, 21 Apr 2009 @ 5:44am

      Re: and wall street says:

      "does not compute."

      also... can you all block blank comments from posting? i hit 'enter' expecting a return to be added... instead it posted my comment.

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

  • identicon
    Frosty840, 21 Apr 2009 @ 6:11am

    "If you focus on doing something you love, the opportunities to make money tend to provide themselves."

    Of course, this doesn't work in the restaurant business...

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2009 @ 6:16am

      Re: Frosty840's comment

      I would argue that it does apply to the restaurant business. After two weeks of opening a new restaurant the owner will hate and despise the restaurant business no matter how much they loved it on opening day.

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

  • identicon
    Felix Pleșoianu, 21 Apr 2009 @ 7:20am

    @Frosty840 Here's what a quick search for "cafe working on honor system" reveals on first page:

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

  • identicon
    Felix Pleșoianu, 21 Apr 2009 @ 7:33am

    (eek, sorry for the double post)

    @Frosty840 Here's what a quick search for "cafe working on honor system" reveals on first page:

    Ontario bakery succeeds with honor payment system

    Photo of honor system at bookstore in Ojai, CA

    Coffeeshop Campers & the Honor System

    There's your proof that even a brick-and-mortar shop can survive and even thrive while NOT treating every customer as a potential thief. Because guess what: most of us are actually honest people who respect the work of others. (And that's because we do some work of our own. It's the same phenomenon as creative people being more likely to understand the value of sharing than someone who never created anything.)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2009 @ 8:23am

    Of course the honor system works. Practically every church and charity in this country depends largely on generosity. And many people are generous. Most people are happy to support something they appreciate.

    There are musicians in the street playing. The generosity of others keeps them there.

    Music fans aren't thieves, they are fans. Fans want to give back. It's part of being a fan.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2009 @ 1:30pm

    "...claiming that those who download are much more likely to buy music than those who don't."

    Gosh people who like music use downloading (presumably you mean illegal) and also purchase music - who would have thought that a music lover might use both ?!!!.

    Or are you trying claim the downloading causes people to purchase more music ? - a typical Masnicks' twist.

    "If you focus on doing something you love, the opportunities to make money tend to provide themselves..."
    so now the Masnicks' progress to silly platitudes - do you really think your readers are that stupid ?.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 22 Apr 2009 @ 4:21am

      Re:

      There's a nice comment on this from Cory Doctorow over at Boing Boing:

      "There's a simple explanation for this: if you really love music, you do lots of music-related things. If you're in the 20 percent of fans that buys 80 percent of records, you're probably in the 20 percent of downloaders that download 80 percent of music, the 20 percent of concertgoers that buy 80 percent of the tickets, and so on. The moral is that music superfans love music and structure their lives around it.

      Which means that when the music industry targets "the worst offenders" in its legal campaigns against downloaders, the people they're attacking are the ones who are spending the most on music."

      That's it in a nutshell. It seems counter-intuitive until you stop assuming that a downloader will never buy something that was download, nor another track or anything else associated with it. Once you realise that many of the people downloading are still spending money, and often downloading more than they could ever hope to afford, then it makes sense.

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

      • identicon
        Ishan, 22 Apr 2009 @ 8:35pm

        Re: Re:

        I completley agree with PaulT

        Give a supermusic fan what they want and they will love you even more for it - ie. purchase other items that add value to their overall music listening experience - such as merch, fan clubs.

        Lets take a step away from the short term gains here - ie money for content. I believe these superfans can provide much more. Viral marketing, especially if these superfans are 'influencers' with a community (or a global influencer over the net) can gave substantial long term gains. Just get the snowball rollin with a few superfans and the long term effects could be great

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

  • identicon
    anymouse, 21 Apr 2009 @ 3:29pm

    Ok did Wierd Harold shift to posting as AC?

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


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