Just a quickie.
Today an article at the BBC reported the ‘music industry’ claiming that piracy is destroying local music. Of course not the entire music industry believes this, just IFPI which represents only a fraction of all those working in the music industries (yes, there are multiple music industries).
The article states:
The sales of albums by local artists there have fallen by 65% in five years.
Federation chairman John Kennedy said the situation in Spain is now “almost irreversible”.
“Spain runs the risk of turning into a cultural desert,” commented Rob Wells, Senior Vice President, Digital, at Universal Music Group.
A cultural desert? Really? How about including statistics on live music? There is a very vibrant scene of young, creative musicians in cities like Barcelona and it appears to be thriving. I’m sure there are numbers that suggest the same. Such a ‘desert’ is more likely to be created by ‘music monopolies’, where big companies flood the market with non-local musicians by employing huge marketing budgets. Local artists would struggle to compete with that. If anything, big labels like UMG are causing a cultural desert, but is it really about the richness of culture or the richness of the labels?
When I read the following bit in the article, I had to count to 10…
He described the loss of the recent court case against BitTorrent website Oink as “a terrible disappointment” and an indication that current laws in the UK are “out of touch with where life is”.
Out of touch with where life is??? It is 2010. Music distribution is nearly costless, yet ‘you’ demand unreasonable prices for a copy of a song. Yes, there are production prices (but live revenue and sponsoring can help with that), and yes there is a marketing budget which needs to be earned back, but perhaps the world is better off without the marketing. You cannot finance one thing, by making money from something unsustainable – that’s bad business.
“The news from the commercial viewpoint is reasonably good but it’s not happening fast enough,” said Mr Wells.
So by stifling innovation through draconian laws, this process is going to be accelerated?
“The music industry finally believes it is making progress in the battle against web piracy with governments taking action and legal music services beginning to prove viable,” said BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones.
“But the industry is still furious about what it sees as negligence by some governments notably Spain – and is warning that there is a growing threat to local artists posed by piracy.”
Prove that there’s a threat. Record sales mean nothing at all.
There ARE ways for artists to make money and not to depend on selling records… The only side in this that really depends on selling records are the record companies. And guess who are the loudest party in this struggle? Exactly. Record companies have to reshape themselves totally and governments have to prevent these companies from ‘micro-managing’ the lives of consumers.
I’m sure some people will read this and feel angry. Please leave a comment and let’s discuss the future. I am 100% confident there is more than enough money to be made in the music industries, both local and global. Hey, my livelihood depends on it.
If you have numbers to share, for instance on live revenue in Spain, please do!! Help me make my point (or disprove it, if you want).
Here’s the article at BBC, there’s more to it, go check it out: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8471290.stm