The risk-free munching is what digital music is all about.

by Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow, a Canadian journalist and co-editor of the quirky blog Boing Boing, is a supporter of the Creative Commons non-profit organisation, which seeks to increase the variety of creative works that are available for others to use, share, and legally build upon. He also advocates for the liberalisation of copyright laws. Doctorow and others are still writing a tonne on the impending doom that awaits Intellectual Property in general and the music industry in particular. Download music

The music industry, which is a straightforward sector compared to the automotive or energy sectors, will serve as the portal example for this article’s examination of the disaster facing U.S. industry. However, we might learn certain lessons from this example’s simplicity that are relevant to all business sectors.

Michael Arrington writes in his piece “The Inevitable March of Recorded Music Towards Free” that music CD sales are still declining precipitously. Radiohead, which is no longer under the control of their label, Capitol Records, put their new digital album up for sale on the Internet for whatever price people want to pay for it. Artists like Prince and Nine Inch Nails are disobeying their labels and either giving away music or telling their fans to steal it. Arrington reminds us that, unless effective artificial barriers to production can be put in place, “simple economic theory dictates that the price of music [must] fall to zero as more ‘competitors'” (in this case, listeners who copy) enter the market. This is something that many others have emphasised recently. For more details Mp3

There are almost no economic or legal hurdles to stop the price of recorded music from decreasing to $0 unless sovereign countries that ratify the Universal Copyright Convention take dramatic measures, like the proposed mandatory music tax to support the business. Artists and labels will likely turn their attention back to other money sources as a result, which they will do. These specifically include limited edition physical copies of their music, merchandising, and live performances.

Author Stephen J. Dubner claims “The Rolling Stones’ professional, businesslike attitude to touring is the group’s most astute characteristic under Jagger’s direction. Record sales and tour earnings are the two primary revenue sources in pop music’s economy. Record sales are a) erratic; and b) distributed among numerous parties. The revenues, which can include not only ticket sales but also corporate sponsorship, t-shirt sales, etc., can be astounding if you understand how to tour well. By adding additional dates, you can effectively control your income, whereas it can be challenging to manage how many records you sell.” (Freakonomics Blog, “Mick Jagger, Profit Maximizer,” July 26, 2007).

We turn to the statistics most trusted by the industry to get a handle on the issues caused by digital media in the music business Latest music This information is obtained from Neilsen SoundScan, which runs a system for gathering data and monitoring sales. The official way to monitor music and music video product sales across North America is provided by SoundScan, which is most pertinent to the subject of this column. The business gathers data on a weekly basis and makes it accessible to subscribers from all parts of the music industry every Wednesday. Executives from record labels, publishing houses, music stores, independent promoters, producers and distributors of motion pictures, as well as firms that manage artists, are among them. This position basically makes SoundScan the official source of sales records in the music industry since it supplies the sales data that Billboard, the top trade publication, uses to create its music charts.

Who knows? Neilsen Soundscan reports “Music continues to be the soundtrack of our daily lives in a fragmented media landscape where technology is changing consumer behaviours. 93% of Americans listen to music, and they do so for more than 25 hours per week, according to Music 360 2014, Nielsen’s third annual in-depth research of the tastes, habits, and preferences of U.S. music listeners.”

The most popular type of entertainment in America is music. 75% of poll participants said they actively choose to listen to music over other forms of media entertainment in 2014. Every hour of the day, music is a part of our life. One-fourth of all music consumption occurs while driving or riding in a car. 15% more of our weekly music listening time occurs at work or when doing chores.