2009-01-19

WSJ reports on RIAA change of tactics

Wall Street Journal caught up to the month-old news that RIAA will no longer sue individual file sharers, and will work with ISPs instead.

An interesting quote that makes no sense to me:

Meanwhile, music sales continue to fall. In 2003, the industry sold 656 million albums. In 2007, the number fell to 500 million CDs and digital albums, plus 844 million paid individual song downloads -- hardly enough to make up the decline in album sales.

Let's do the math. Say there are 12 songs to an album. Then the 844 million tracks make for 70.3 million albums, amounting to a total of 570.3 million sold in 2007 v. 656 million in 2003.

Considering that individual song downloads sell for an average of USD 0.99--more than if they sold for the proportionate fraction of total album cost--and no inventory cost and a lot of the rest of overhead is associated with online music sales, this should have more than made up for the 13 per cent decline in album sales.

All of that of course is not really relevant in the way that the existing music distribution model has outlived itself and any attempt to extend its life amounts to delaying the inevitable.

No, I don't have a very clear idea of what the new model will be, but the old one, the same that effectively criminalizes the majority of population, has failed, and the sooner the industry will get over it, the better.