Recording Industry’s Annual Report

Nate Anderson at Ars has a pretty good summary of the annual report form IFPI. There is a lot of the same anti-piracy rhetoric you would expect, framing it as the “fundamental” threat. Worse is their equation of piracy to global warming. Nate gives them some credit for trying to be more customer focused and innovative but explains they’ve had enough of that and pretty much expect a bail out now.

Its worth sticking with his coverage, though, as in amidst the usual hyperbole, there are glimpses the recording industry is getting some aspects of the net.

For instance, the report now accepts the “obvious fact” that “some file-sharers are often also buyers of music.” It recognizes the need for “good legitimate music offerings.” It mentions the question of live revenues (which are booming). It talks a lot about the need for “proportionality” in responding to the threat.

Admittedly, that is a pretty thin concession. And bright spots like it aren’t stopping them from claiming there is now more need than ever for three strikes, or even one strike, regimes.

The part of Nate’s discussion focusing in on the shift from albums to single accounting for much of the drop in revenue is the most telling, really. The labels need to understand shifts like these to either learn to tighten their belts or adjust their marketing machinery to better match the now normative unit of sale.

Stranger things have happened, so perhaps we should reserve a sliver of a benefit of a doubt for them.

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