The Troubled Music Industry

Posted: 01/06/2008 by that's Elbert in Internet, Music, Technology

Jared wrote a post about the RIAA’s assertation that ripping a CD that you own to your computer is illegal. I’m not sure how the RIAA arrived at that, but they’re trying to win a case in which it was something the accused did. Jared also makes this statement:

CD sales are down again 20% this holiday season because kids, adults and everyone seems to be trading music.

Where does he arrive at that notion? This is something the RIAA has said, but I’ve read several accounts, even academic studies, that refute that.

I understand that back in the 1990’s CD sales were up but some of that had to have been because of the numerous first time CD issues of catalog albums. I know I bought a number of older LPs on CD, as I’m sure many others did too. That was usually extra money I spent along with my regular purchases. If my habits were the same as other buyers, then once that stopped being the case, or once I’ve obtained all the old LPs on CD, I’ll only be spending money on the newer releases. Wouldn’t that make it appear that CD sales were down? And are we talking CDs as in the actual discs or are we talking albums, thus all means of purchase, which would include those electronic files gotten from iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, etc.?

The Motley Fool has this to say to investors in the music industry: beware.

As it stands, the industry already seems almost hell-bent on creating plenty of disgruntled customers who don’t particularly want to do business with it anymore … and then suing them for it.

…a good sign of a dying industry that investors might want to avoid is when it would rather litigate than innovate, signaling a potential destroyer of value. If it starts to pursue paying customers — which doesn’t seem that outlandish at this point — then I guess we’ll all know the extent of the desperation. Investor, beware.

Not good news for the music industry at all.

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