Music business demands more protection, despite soaring digital revenues

Weasels' wish list demands that everyone but the music business defend profits from music

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#CES #SOPA," Duckworth tweeted.

The news gets better, at least for the music business.

Key findings of IFPI study on music-industry digital revenues and health:

    LI>Consumer demand for single-track downloads went up 11 percent.
  • Demand for downloaded digital albums went up 24 percent;
  • The number of subscribers to paid digital music services rose 65 percent to 13.4 million;
  • A "Hadopi" anti-piracy law in France gets credit for cutting content piracy by 26 percent in 2011;
  • The number of people downloading music from P2P services dropped by 2 million in France in 2011 due to Hadopi;
  • One in four digital-music consumers "regularly access unlicensed services;"
  • The 8 percent increase in digital-music revenue is the first year-to-year growth in digital music since IFPI began tracking it in 2004;
  • Digital downloads now account for 32 percent of record company revenues globally, up from 29 percent in 2010;
  • In some countries digital music makes up more than half of record-company revenues, including the US (52%), South Korea (53%) and China (71%).
  • In 2011 consumers paid for 3.6 billion pieces of downloadable music, 17 percent more than in 2011.

Record companies are building a business in digital music "in spite of the environment in which they operate, not because of it," according to Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI, in a statement that accompanied the report. (PDF)

Record companies are working with ISPs, search engines, governments and law-enforcement agencies to reduce the number of illegal downloads and ensure that an ever-higher percentage of the music that is downloaded is bought legally, she wrote.

"Our digital revenues, at one-third of industry income (and now more than 50 per cent in the US), substantially surpass those of other creative industries, such as films, books and newspapers,"

Which just begs the question about SOPA and PIPA: If the music industry is doing so well, why is it so important that Internet-censoring, consumer-incriminating, Constitution-violating new laws like SOPA and PIPA be passed quickly and without much debate?

Is it because adding new laws that put all the burden of enforcement on companies or individuals other than the copyright holders, especially when the copyright holders are raking in money hand over fist, seems gratuitous? Excessive? Just plain rude?

Maybe.

Maybe it's just because RIAA wants its cake and to eat yours, too.

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