Over a quarter of web users engage in music piracy, makes music industry sad

Despite the explosion in the availability of music through digital stores and subscription services, a new report indicates that music piracy doesn’t appear to be going out of fashion any time soon, with at least one in four web users around the world illegally downloading or streaming music every month.

The report was published by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which represents over 1400 music labels in 66 countries. It tells a predictably bleak tale in framing this information, emphasising that the poor, impoverished music industry is being critically undermined by the actions of a selfish minority of web users, adding that the prevalence of illegal downloads is “jeopardising investment in music” and “rigging the market for legitimate music services”.

Of course, this sob story is undermined slightly by IFPI’s own statistics that record industry revenues grew at a faster rate last year than in 2010, up around 8% to $5.2bn USD. Legitimate downloads of individual tracks increased by 11%, while album downloads were up by 24%. Try to hold back the tears for those struggling record labels, when you hear that the number of users subscribing to a digital music service increased by 65% last year across the globe. Heart-breaking.

With just 32% of worldwide music revenues coming from digital sales, it’s not hard to understand why industry organisations like IFPI believe that music pirates are such a scourge. In a nutshell, things are growing, but they’re not growing as fast as the industry would like. But consider the fact that some labels and artists continue to resist cooperation with music subscription services such as Spotify and Zune, which offer unlimited music each month for the price of one album; this is an industry which would much prefer to limit your options to buying one album at a time.

It’s not encouraging to see organisations like IFPI continue to point the finger at illegal downloaders, instead of mobilising to innovate and offer greater incentives to make legal music consumption more attractive, which would ultimately lead to a larger and more successful music industry in the longer term.


via The Telegraph

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I feel so sorry for all the music exec's and artists that are struggling to get by on the hundreds of thousands or millions of pounds/dollars they make.

As you'd expect the report is a marketing tool, i.e. propaganda, that should be viewed with the same skepticism as most spam ads &/or late night infomercials. Per their site IFPI is a non-profit affiliated with the RIAA funded at least in part by membership fees from 40 - 2,800 GBP. Like any such org they need to keep members happy to continue receiving that funding -- they need to show members why they should continue their membership -- that in a nutshell is why this report exists... it's nothing more than a sales brochure, e.g. they proudly point to their success working with London law enforcement, reporting alleged offenders.

If you look at a sales brochure for any brand of car/truck it's filled with claims that are at best barely substantiated, with highly skewed interpretations of any real data. The IFPI report follows this mold. It mentions surveys as a source for their illegal download estimates, with no footnotes etc. pointing to actual data, methods, sources & so on. FWIW you can design any poll or survey to deliver the results you desire, assuming you actually do more than just asking the people around the office their opinions, so to be taken seriously at all, making data, methods etc. readily available is very necessary. That this report gets so much mention/credit in the media is IMHO just more evidence of the currently sad state of the media idustry itself, like the Telegraph.

If I asked you, would you like to get paid $100 or $125, you'd say you'd like to get $125.
Would you be willing to spend $250 a year for several years to get it though?

Seriously, they are spending more money than they stand to make on this nonsense.

Here's an idea. Start making decent music, and people wont feel ripped off if they buy it. For example, there is a certain band that I heard and loved. I could have easily pirated their stuff, but since it was so awesome, i made the purchase. I know plenty of people who feel the same way. How much can you expect people to pay for the CRAP that's stinking up the music industry? You want more money? Hire better talent, and make it WORTH what you charge for it.

Fireyetti said,
Here's an idea. Start making decent music, and people wont feel ripped off if they buy it. For example, there is a certain band that I heard and loved. I could have easily pirated their stuff, but since it was so awesome, i made the purchase. I know plenty of people who feel the same way. How much can you expect people to pay for the CRAP that's stinking up the music industry? You want more money? Hire better talent, and make it WORTH what you charge for it.

I agree. I often download a new release (I admit) and check it out. If I like it I buy it. I have bought almost everything that I ever really liked and downloaded. I have actually got into far!!!!! more artist than I would of otherwise. I have a great example. Two artist now that are some of my favorites are ones that I was able to preview ahead of time. I went out and bought their complete catalog. That is both artists with more than 5 CD's per band. There have been many underground bands that I went out and bought their CD after checking it out online. Never in a million years would I have bought those CD's without hearing them. I look at some of the CD I have tried to trade in that if I had the chance to preview them or download them in say a lesser quality I would of never have purchased them. Now I am stuck with them because even trade won't take them.

The point which still has to be made is whether anyone who 'pirates' music would in fact buy the same material if they had to. Pretty sure in the vast majority of cases the answer is no. So the claim these are all lost sales is void IMO..

Then release decent songs at a far, far more reasonable price and refund us for the decades of crappy music we were forced to buy and listen to.

well if piracy fell so would sales. what would they say then?? can't get the word out on an album thru MTV... where would they go??

coth said,

indeed. what makes me more sad is that they steal last money from people with their overpriced products.
amen to that. These guys claim to be struggling but then why am I paying 13.99, 14.99 or more for an old cd that was release say 10 plus years ago? The only decent deals are on first release cd's. Amazes me in hard times most places cut costs a bit to help boost things but these j@ck@sses keep the price the same or increase them.

James Riske said,
Someone who pirates music usually never had any intention of buying it in the first place so wheres the loss?

^ This. hahahahaha seriously, i would never ever ever ever buy albums or songs one by one... toooo much money.
Pirate it, or never even bother with it at all.
Tried out zune pass, getting rid of it soon, that was at least a decent deal.

James Riske said,
Someone who pirates music usually never had any intention of buying it in the first place so wheres the loss?

That is not entirely true.

Allow

Well if the artist didnt make only one song good and the rest crappy than I understand but how you lose out $100 million? This guy on tv says piracy takes away jobs but people get paid before hand to make something so they are wrong.

If companies continue to keep things open it will be fine. But if I can't borrow my friends blu ray because it is somehow tied to his player, I will start to get angry. The control they want in the digital world is scary.

ObiWanToby said,
If companies continue to keep things open it will be fine. But if I can't borrow my friends blu ray because it is somehow tied to his player, I will start to get angry. The control they want in the digital world is scary.

Its the problem i am having with zune pass (and also the reason why i want to get rid of it)

Ive had zune pass for maybe... 2-3 months, downloaded around 30 songs (pretty good deal at the price you pay). Its a good deal, however i am stuck with using Microsoft products like windows phone, and then if i want to switch to Iphone or android im stumped or have to download all the songs by other means... which id rather not...

Anyways, no more zune pass for me... its a good deal, but in the end it will just **** me off. Back to illegally downloading.

a lot of it boils down to where a band releases a crap album and no one buys it. So they say 'OMG! it would have sold 10 million copies at $10 a pop! so that means we lost $100 million due to piracy!'

Pffft, I've been to a few concerts already where the artists have said, "GET OUR ALBUM, WE DON'T CARE IF YOU BUY IT, DOWNLOAD IT, STEAL IT, PIRATE IT, JUST GET IT!"

Poor poor record labels...

dead.cell said,
Pffft, I've been to a few concerts already where the artists have said, "GET OUR ALBUM, WE DON'T CARE IF YOU BUY IT, DOWNLOAD IT, STEAL IT, PIRATE IT, JUST GET IT!"

Poor poor record labels...

Sounds familiar. Oh, Trent Reznor started that trend.

UndergroundWire said,
I for one still pirate. Arrrrr! FU*K THE RIAA!

Exactly. get the FLAC files and convert to any lossy format of your choice

and besides... everyone knows the artists make most of their money from touring so buying music in general tends to only benefit those greedy record execs. i don't think anyone feels guilty for screwing them.

UndergroundWire said,
I for one still pirate. Arrrrr! FU*K THE RIAA!

Im not religious and hate that fake made up fictional of "god" but...........Amen.

25%? Worldwide? As in "includes China" and such? I would have expected higher

Also: STOP REGION LIMITING RELEASES

Sraf said,
25%? Worldwide? As in "includes China" and such? I would have expected higher

Also: STOP REGION LIMITING RELEASES


Including or excluding China, I bet it's higher for sure...

GS:mac

Sraf said,
25%? Worldwide? As in "includes China" and such? I would have expected higher

Also: STOP REGION LIMITING RELEASES

One of the main reasons people pirate, they don't have access to the material otherwise.

Maybe if both digital stores and subscription services were available worldwide, music piracy would be lower.

Glassed Silver said,

There are other solutions, think outside the box.

GS:mac

To feeding your family? I'm probably misunderstanding exactly what you are opposed to here? So no artist on the planet should make money?

chadlachlanross said,

To feeding your family? I'm probably misunderstanding exactly what you are opposed to here? So no artist on the planet should make money?


Ugh, there are other possibilities of paying the artists.
But as I know I'll bait too much "socialism!!!" callers, I'll leave it at "imagine!" myself.

Cheers and before any trolls come and try to mock "the European" and his "f***ked up" mind, I'm out.

GS:mac

chadlachlanross said,

To feeding your family? I'm probably misunderstanding exactly what you are opposed to here? So no artist on the planet should make money?

I don't think Glassed Silver is opposed to feeding an artist and their family I think she just means there are other ways to acquire money vs selling records. I mean most artists make money now days from tours and merch. But then again most artists never really made money from record sales unless they owned the label themselves so its nothing new,

The problem lies with the offline market, not the online one. Any artist can set up a website with a system to download tracks for money that goes directly to them.

What will happen with the offline, international market? Most countries outside the US and Europe don't trust online payments, the exchange rates are insane, and downloading speeds are not as fast.

Until things change, the artists are tied to the classic labels, if they wish to be known outside a couple of countries.

Did I ever say that art should not be monetized? You have a right to make money off your own work. Big companies do not.

Commercial music is bulls*** quite frankly.

chadlachlanross said,

You wouldn't say that if you were an artist trying to feed your family.


"artists" dont feed their families. They feed habits.

Does anyone actually trust a "trade report" anymore? I have no doubt they would fudge the numbers for their benefit.

Xenon said,
Does anyone actually trust a "trade report" anymore? I have no doubt they would fudge the numbers for their benefit.

Hell no. Especially when they haven't even bothered to get of their behinds and find out if these pirates buy music if they like it.
I would have thought that sales not growing quickly enough for them may have something to do with the difficult economic times we're seeing of late. Ignorami.