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Game, DVD Sales Hurting Music Industry More Than Downloads 223

Posted by Soulskill
from the disposal-of-income dept.
Aguazul writes with this excerpt from the Guardian: "The music industry likes to insist that filesharing — aka illegal downloading — is killing the industry; that every one of the millions of music files downloaded each day counts as a 'lost' sale, which if only it could somehow have been prevented would put stunning amounts of money into impoverished artists' hands. ... If you even think about it, it can't be true. People — even downloaders — only have a finite amount of money. In times gone by, sure, they would have been buying vinyl albums. But if you stopped them downloading, would they troop out to the shops and buy those songs? I don't think so. I suspect they're doing something different. I think they're spending the money on something else. What else, I mused, might they be buying? The first clue of where all those downloaders are really spending their money came in searching for games statistics: year after year ELSPA had hailed 'a record year.' In fact ... games spending has risen dramatically — from £1.18bn in 1999 to £4.03bn in 2008. Meanwhile music spending has gone from £1.94bn to £1.31bn."
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Game, DVD Sales Hurting Music Industry More Than Downloads

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  • It sure takes a while to get to the point.
    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday June 12, 2009 @05:57PM (#28314759) Homepage
      And offers such iron-clad evidence as "If you even think about it, it can't be true," and "I don't think so. I suspect they're doing something different."
      • Correlation != Causality.
        And weak correlation at that...

        Where is the content in this story? Slapping together two changes in expenditure is news?

        • Re:Some excerpt (Score:5, Interesting)

          by jedidiah (1196) on Friday June 12, 2009 @09:35PM (#28316451) Homepage

          This isn't correlation or causality. It's simply painfully obvious.

          Those in the game industry explicitly acknowledge this and
          freely admit that they have to compete with not just other
          forms of paid diversion but of diversions in general. The
          game developer has to compete with it all, including sex.

          The members of the MPAA and RIAA are probably too complacent
          and too "fat and happy" to realize this.

          Game developers do though.

  • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Friday June 12, 2009 @05:43PM (#28314583) Homepage

    For defining Opportunity cost, and boring everyone senseless at the same time.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Dan541 (1032000)

      According to the RIAA each song is worth $750, so with 16,987 songs that's $12,740,250 US Dollars that I would have spent if it had not been for thepiratebay.org

      The RIAA claims that a university student would have spent more than 12million dollars had it not been for piracy?

      I think this proves that the RIAA do not have even the most remote clue as to what they are talking about and we can all safely discard all past, present and future claims without the risk of discarding a single fact.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      no one

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Xiph (723935)

        ah you're wrong...

        One of them would win, some times one, some times the other...
        but the loser will always be the consumer.

        the interesting part is that in a proper market, the consumer would be the winner when there's increased competition.

  • by JoeWalsh (32530) on Friday June 12, 2009 @05:43PM (#28314591)

    Let's see.

    Games are on Blue-Ray.

    Movies are on Blue-Ray.

    If only the music industry would put their product on Blue-Ray, it would sell well, too!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537)

      Yay, get your favorite artists entire catalog at 96kHz on a single disk.

      Except that's not what they'll do. They'll put the same recordings as on the CD, and then fill the rest of the disk with ads.

  • by Foobar of Borg (690622) on Friday June 12, 2009 @05:46PM (#28314609)
    Yes, apparently, constant threats of lawsuits might cause people to spend their entertainment money elsewhere. It's kind of like with those Capitol One mailers. On the back of the envelope it says something like "tampering with or changing the contents of this envelope may subject you to legal action." Oh yeah, I am so going to get a credit card from people who start off threatening to sue me (and for what?). Same thing with the RIAA. You sue your customers, we go elsewhere and tell you where you can stick those shiny, plastic discs.
    • On the back of the envelope it says something like "tampering with or changing the contents of this envelope may subject you to legal action." Oh yeah, I am so going to get a credit card from people who start off threatening to sue me (and for what?).

      That would seem to be a threat aimed at identity thieves, or at least a cue to the recipients that the sender is on the look-out for fraud.

      I don't really know for sure though. I don't spend a lot of time parsing legalese printed on the back of junk mail. . .

    • On the back of the envelope it says something like "tampering with or changing the contents of this envelope may subject you to legal action." Oh yeah, I am so going to get a credit card from people who start off threatening to sue me (and for what?).

      I doubt that statement is directed at you (the intended recipient), but at other people handling the envelope. Of course, interfering with postal delivery is already a federal crime, and I would guess that everybody knows that, so at the very least, the warning is pretty redundant.

  • flawed logic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Funk_dat69 (215898) on Friday June 12, 2009 @05:52PM (#28314683)

    The article claims:

    1- consumers buy games/DVDs over the latest music album
    2- consumers don't have enough money for music
    3- consumers download music

    Based on their evidence, though, you could also conclude:

    1- consumers download music
    2- consumers still have money
    3- consumers buy games/DVDs with saved money

    Don't get me wrong. I don't think that downloading a song==lost sale, but I don't think the evidence stated necessarily means that people are choosing games/DVDs over music.

    One thing that is not really debatable is that the music industry business model is outdated, overgrown with middlemen, and on it's way out. And the end won't come soon enough.

    • by Runefox (905204)

      It is a bit of a leap, yeah, but when you think about it, there are a couple of reasons for that:

      1) People universally dislike the RIAA. At least around here, people like to spite them as much as possible.

      2) It isn't universally illegal to download music over the internet, and still is a legal grey area.

      3) The cost of a music CD, given the amount of enjoyment and entertainment (assuming all songs in the album are "good") versus the cost of a DVD/game and the amount of enjoyment and entertainment gained from

    • That people buy games and DVDs these days instead of music because most of the music available now simply sucks.

      For some time now(years?), most of the music-money I've spent has been back filling. I've been picking up (cheap) CDs of old albums that I never got around to purchasing in the past.

      Finally got a copy of "The Bends" last week. ;-)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tftp (111690)

        people buy games and DVDs these days instead of music because most of the music available now simply sucks

        IMO the value of a $50 game is far greater than a value of a $15 60 min. audio CD or a 90 min. movie DVD. Music feels dirt cheap compared to games where every single object in a huge GTA map had been created and placed by hand, and when you can do all kinds of things and expect reasonable game response to them. I feel comfortable with paying for a game because I see what's there on the DVD and I'm am

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Triv (181010)

          You can't play with your music, you can't introduce new elements (or your character) to a movie...

          I'm sorry, but that's pretty narrow-minded - if you think music always sounds the same and that therefore you have no reason to listen to it more than once, you either have truly horrific taste in music or you don't pay much attention to it. I've listened to some albums hundreds of times and I keep hearing new things, making new connections, realizing new influences and learning from them. Video games migh

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Decameron81 (628548)

            You can't play with your music, you can't introduce new elements (or your character) to a movie...

            I'm sorry, but that's pretty narrow-minded - if you think music always sounds the same and that therefore you have no reason to listen to it more than once, you either have truly horrific taste in music or you don't pay much attention to it. I've listened to some albums hundreds of times and I keep hearing new things, making new connections, realizing new influences and learning from them. Video games might be more expansive, but they are ultimately finite in scope - a good album breathes and grows depending on the other stuff you listen to, on what you bring to the table. Video games are like stale bubblegum from a supermarket vending machine in comparison.

            I could take an axe to my game systems tomorrow and not shed a tear, but the thought of living without music scares the piss outta me.

            Music ain't that much these days. I realize your perception of it may change over time, but that's as far as it gets. In a videogame like GTA or many others, you can face a very wide spectrum of situations you don't expect, so there's much more stimulation available to you.

            The magic of videogames is the freedom they offer. It's the ultimate form of entertainment.

    • I download cracked games and MP3s to check out the content before I part with my hard-to-come-by money. While I no longer spend nearly as much on either as I used to, I am much happier with the items I do purchase.

      And no, you can't really get a feal for whether a game is going to be worth playing on your home system from a demo at the store. Aside from that, the only game demos I see running are on consoles, not PCs.

      Some music stores let you listen to a select set of albums before you buy them, but u

    • by maugle (1369813)
      In proud /. tradition I haven't actually read the article, but at any point does it mention that you're probably getting a better return on your money when buying a game?
      What I mean is: say you have $30. You can either buy a couple music CDs with that, or you could buy a DVD movie (maybe two, if they aren't new releases), or you could buy a game like Team Fortress 2, Bioshock, Supreme Commander, etc... Which option is going to entertain you more, and for longer?

      In my view, buying the music CDs would be t
      • by TheLink (130905)
        You usually get music with the game/movie as well, and sometimes it's even better than the "music CD stuff" ;).

        So as far as I'm concerned most music CDs are way overpriced.

        1) The industry still sells > 20 year old music at the same high prices (and with their lobbying they intend to do that for > 100 years). The PC game industry has to make the money from the game in a much shorter time.

        2) People can talk about the sound engineering and all that stuff that goes into it, but the music industry clearly
    • by samkass (174571)

      The biggest problem I see with this theory is that just today a huge 23% decline in US video game sales was reported [cnet.com]. This quarter video game sales dropped below $1B for the first time in years. I could be wrong, but I doubt we're going to see anything like a $300M jump in music sales this quarter.

      • The theory still holds if the music sales drop even higher than the video game sales drop.

        Because the theory says that games and movies are competing with music for the same entertainment $$$$.

        If the economy is bad the available entertainment $$$$ drops.

        Lots of people have already lost their jobs or have had to take a pay cut, or have cut spending because they expect bad times.

        Actually a 23% decline is nothing in the big picture. Personal bankruptcy rates are soaring - 40% more people filed for bankruptcy p

    • Can't get a trojan from an mp3, but you sure can from a cracked game!

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      While what you say may be true, consider that there are also a lot of alternatives to your binary options presented. Instead of "download music" I could also:

      1) Listen to music on lastfm
      2) Listen to other free online service
      3) Listen to FM radio (which, IMO, has gotten better over the years - less commercials, better music)

      In the 1990s, I ripped a lot of CDs and listened to those MP3s. I was a teen in the late 1990s. But I've not bought many (maybe 2 or 3) albums since. I've also not downloaded MP3s (or any

  • by MosesJones (55544) on Friday June 12, 2009 @05:53PM (#28314705) Homepage

    The rise of zero personality manufacturer bands (The Jonas Brothers... like the Monkees but with out the hard cutting edge) and their cult of multiple product selling surely also has to be responsible. Its not just Games and DVDs its the fact that for a given "star" you can get pens, pencils, school bags, DVDs, 3D Movies and all manner of other crap. Their objective almost isn't to sell the music its just to sell the image and then have people buy lots of things with that image.

    Dora the Explorer has as much credibility as these bands and is focused on a similar financial plan.

    Meanwhile good bands seem to be going into the live tour set up more and more and being less worried about CDs. So what is killing CDs is that at the crap end people are flogging pens and school bags and at the good end its about the live gigs. Meaning that if you want entertainment at home you go for DVDs (because the Cinema is a rip-off) or Games (where you get to do more of what you want).

    The music industry has killed the CD by focusing on bag sales and forcing decent artists to focus (thank god) on live gigs.

    • by T Murphy (1054674)
      Hey, I've learned a lot more Spanish from Dora the Explorer than the Jonas Brothers will ever know!
    • by geekoid (135745)

      No, most music has been useless crap.
      Seriously, we remember the good stuff and for get about the thousands pieces of crap that surrounded it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jabithew (1340853)

        This is actually really insightful. Here's the UK chart [bbc.co.uk]. Don't recognise anything from it? Here's all the number 1s from the Seventies [theofficialcharts.com]. Ah, music was so much better then, when we had the genius of Pink Floyd and *cough* Showaddywaddy.

  • What the RIAA members really need to do is make free pirated copies of games and movies more easily available on the web; then people will have more disposable income with which to purchase music!
    • by WiiVault (1039946)
      Knowing how batshit crazy the RIAA is I wouldn't give them any ideas. Though it would be pretty hilarious
  • by sheetsda (230887) <doug,sheets&gmail,com> on Friday June 12, 2009 @05:55PM (#28314737)

    As much as I would like to believe this, the mantra still applies:

    correlation != causation. (and I'm not even sure there's enough data to establish for the former)

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Friday June 12, 2009 @05:56PM (#28314749)

    because you can get the one song you like off of iTunes/amazon/whatever. Why always start from the assumption that it must be illegal activity that is adversely affecting sales.

    The legal marketplace has changed to benefit the consumer economically, by not gouging them for $6/15 for a single/album respectively, now they can get what they wanted for around a $1. Some will buy more music but many others will move that savings to other avenues of entertainment.

    • by MtViewGuy (197597)

      I think what could really change things the possibility of people legally downloading music in true lossless formats such as Apple Lossless or FLAC formats. Since Apple Lossless or FLAC don't compromise music quality like you get even with 256 kbps variable bit rate AAC, MP3 or WMA formats, it means you can download fairly soon whole albums with the type of sound quality that would do even a multi-thousand dollar stereo system proud.

      Interestingly enough, I think if the likes of Amazon.com offers lossless fo

  • Where is the InconvenientTruth tag? It's interesting how a fresh perspective on an issue sheds an interesting new light. Of course this is to be expected. The music industry and all of "entertainment" have probably been quite aware of this. But when delivering a plea to legislators and making arguments for why various manufacturers should support a particular measure or restriction, it doesn't help them to tell the complete truth.

  • by Itchyeyes (908311) on Friday June 12, 2009 @05:58PM (#28314781) Homepage

    It seems so obvious it amazes me how many higher ups in these industries fail to recognize that they're not in the record business, or the video game business, or the film business. They're in the entertainment business. If you're going to make it a pain in the ass to purchase your music or to watch your movie, I'm just as happy to spend my time reading a book, or surfing the Internet, or playing a video game. 99% of the time I'm not even going to bother trying to hunt down a pirated copy, because quite frankly I'd rather just spend that time being entertained by one of the other numerous options I have available to me. You're not competing for my money, you're competing for my time, and you're competing against everything else I can possibly find to fill it with. The sooner these businesses learn this the easier they'll find it to get my money.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Nekomusume (956306)

      Which is to say, they are competing against the internet itself. Email, facebook, youtube, slashdot, wiki, flashgames. All of the free legal entertainments and timekillers online effectively chew into paid entertainment sales aswell.

  • The argument that 1 download = 1 lost sale was always pretty silly. Obviously the demand for something that costs $0 is going to be greater than if it costs $20.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday June 12, 2009 @06:04PM (#28314831)

    Who is the main target audience for popular music (i.e. the staple of the music industry)? Teenagers. Now, teenagers have a bit more pocket money today than they did in the 80s and 90s, inflation sure took care of that, but they also have a lot more to spend it on.

    I was a teenager in the 80s and 90s. What was there for us to spend our pocket money on? Music. Fashion. Junk food. Umm... Arcades, maybe. Besides that... umm... I'm open for suggestions, but that's what my friends spent their dough on (for me it was computer games, but that was me...).

    Today, you have cell phones (and the various services that come with it, from ringtones to games), you have computer games, MMOs with their recurring subscriptions, Trading Card games, you have all sorts of markets geared either exclusively at teenagers or at least aiming heavily for them.

    The music industry simply has to share the market with others.

  • I have well over 200 CD's that I paid full retail for at legitimate stores. I listen to music all day at work and for many years enjoyed my collection digitized and copied to whatever machine I was working on. That said, I haven't purchased a CD in over 3 years, and I don't download mp3s or touch any torrents of any kind.

    I switched to shoutcast streams many years ago, and as of a little over a year ago I started using Pandora.com and haven't looked back.

    I buy and play games for my xbox and my PC. I purchase movies (I still haven't paid more than $10 for an HD movie, MPC + HD/BR player FTW).

    Anyway, that said - if you were to graph my spending over the last decade 1999-2009 you would see a lot of money going to the music industry (15-25albums /year @$15 each) dwindling down to nothing as of about 2005. Some spending on games (probably 5-8/year @ 50 each) staying pretty consistent with a slight upswing in the last 4 years. Movies, didn't buy all that many VHS, have probably 80 or so DVD's (at probably 10/year) - 20 or so HD/BR movies, all within the last 10 months.
  • News Flash: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nausea_malvarma (1544887) on Friday June 12, 2009 @06:07PM (#28314843)
    Lack of quality music hurting music industry more than downloads.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by interval1066 (668936)

      Hear hear.

      After 20+ years of Rap & Hip Hop who else is ready for something with a bit of tune to it?
      Yeah, I said it.

      • Re:News Flash: (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TheSambassador (1134253) on Friday June 12, 2009 @06:55PM (#28315275)
        Everyone always brings this up when we talk about the music industry.

        Give me a break. If you're listening solely to the radio, yes, you're going to be disappointed (and even disgusted) at what's there. But if you actually spend a bit of time looking, you can find some really great artists. Music is always going to be alive... just because the nostalgia you feel makes you just a teensy bit unopen to newer, different stuff doesn't mean the music is bad.

        There are a ton of indie bands who write really good, smart, catchy music. I tend to like things that are a bit more experimental (TV on the Radio, Menomena, Modest Mouse, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah), but if that's not your cup of tea you can always try Andrew Bird, MGMT, Cut Copy, anything that Danger Mouse is involved in, The National, Elbow, Fleet Foxes... the list goes on.

        Some of the popular music may be crap (though don't make the mistake of allowing that to be your representation of different genres like rap), but if you look even for a bit you can find some good stuff.
        • THANK YOU for saying it. I mean, come on people, just go and browse Pitchfork Media's album reviews. Those guys may be a bunch of pricks sometimes but they know where the good stuff is.
      • by geekoid (135745)

        I like Rap and Hip Hop.

        And I'm an old white guy.

        Rap, like ALL music genres, is mostly garbage.

    • Lack of quality customers hurting music industry more than music quality.

      Fixed that for you. It needed the perspective of a touring musician. (Tonight I'm playing show #23 of 26 shows in 25 days)

      • I'm also a touring musician, and I'm sick of this type of behavior coming from my peers. Whenever you have a hard time making money, you blame the customers. Bullshit. It's your job to attract the customers. It's not their job to hand over their money every time you play a note. You gotta figure out a way to get them to pay, and if downloads are making CDs unprofitable, change your fucking business model! It's called being a businessperson.
        • Dude, lack of quality mainstream music is also a direct result of piracy. Labels won't take risks on any new acts except lowest common denominator bullshit. Good bands are getting dummied way down upon being signed. My friend's kick-ass rock band got signed to Universal, who made them record and shoot a video for Frosty The Snowman!! [youtube.com] The indie scene is doing fine, as am I, but I know several great indie bands that won't or can't take that next step thanks to piracy.

          I do agree it's our job to adapt, but

          • Re:News Flash: (Score:4, Insightful)

            by nausea_malvarma (1544887) on Friday June 12, 2009 @10:05PM (#28316627)

            Don't kid yourself. Mainstream music did not suddenly become poor when piracy started. Music variety declined well before napster. The difference is, people had no alternatives before piracy. They settled for the bland stuff they heard on the radio. Now, piracy opens ears. People can listen to music that they could never find in record shops, and they are demanding more.

            If you can't sell ice to eskimos, maybe you'd better stop selling ice. We all forget that before the phonograph, musicians made a living off live performances. Even current bands with albums make more money with their tours anyway. Isn't it possible to make a living on concerts alone, and give away recorded music to promote your live shows? Today's music scene breeds lazy artists, too passive to playout. Chumps who would rather churn out a few good albums and live off their success until their 90.

            The indie scene is doing fine, as am I, but I know several great indie bands that won't or can't take that next step thanks to piracy.

            What is the next step? Getting on a major label? Becoming a house hold name? Being a "rock star"? That idea needs to die, and it needs to die quick. As recording becomes less and less profitable, the industry won't be able to support that kind of thing for long. The indie bands you speak of should be happy that they can do what they love and make a decent living, and give up any dreams of becoming rock icons in the age of the famous-to-15-people youtube celebrity.

  • by Xistenz99 (1395377)
    After taking a step back from everything related to music, radio, magazines, and quality of artists, there isn't one thing that isn't failing, Radio isn't playing anything that isn't on their Clear Channel list and doesn't care to play anything extra. Rolling Stone, which is supposedly is a magazine that celebrates music, is failing miserably in content by falling to much on pop music when really good rock bands are out there, but can't get any airplay because the only thing that sells is pop music. Then
    • by tholomyes (610627)

      My suggestion is to not listen to the Clear Channel stations-- maybe find a good college station instead-- and don't read Spin or Rolling Stone for musical advice ("The Rise of Lady GaGa"? Seriously, RS?), but pick up something like Magnet, instead, for starters. There is a ton of great music being made, it just takes more work to separate the wheat from the chaff. Bands have free mp3s all over the internet, download a bunch of 'em and see what grows on you, or just use Pandora to help you find new thing

    • by DM9290 (797337)

      I honestly think soon there will be something to make music better than it is right now, but I have know idea how that is possible, any suggestions?

      learn how to play an instrument

  • So games and DVD sales are hurting music sales? If you take away the fact that people can pirate music, what happens then? Do people take some of the money they have been putting into games and DVDs and put it back into buying music? They obviously think music is worthwhile, otherwise they wouldn't even be bothering to download it.

    You can't just say "well, other things are up, so I think it's those things" without factoring in that music can be had for free easily and that may be a factor in why games an

    • This may come as a shock, but movies and games can also be pirated.

      • by databank (165049)

        And to add to the argument, before MP3's ever came to the computer, games were the FIRST thing to be pirated. You would think that if pirating was so rampant as the RIAA would have you believe, then the games would have long since been completely wiped out and yet the gaming industry is still going.

  • I disagree (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Friday June 12, 2009 @06:13PM (#28314887) Homepage Journal

    It's poor product that is hurting sales. Put the blame where it belongs, with the RIAA cartel itself.

  • No, really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xest (935314) on Friday June 12, 2009 @06:19PM (#28314931)

    I've said this for a while.

    People only have a finite amount of money. What the music industry has failed to grasp is that it no longer has a near monopoly on entertainment that it shared with the likes of the movie industry for the decades before the internet. It now has to compete with a bigger set of movies than ever before, it has to compete with the games industry and really for teenagers it even has to compete with things like text message costs and so on.

    The music industry isn't in competition with piracy, it's in competition with every other form of entertainment expenditure out there. The only way to win that battle is how you would win a single industry battle - provide the most attractive product.

    When people can buy their computer games, say, Rock Band, and get their music as part of that, they'll be less inclined to buy the music alone.

    The same goes for those developers complaining about people pirating their games but if people can only afford one game, they'll buy the best game, that doesn't stop them wanting to play the other game though, they simply don't have money for both, so they'll buy the better one and pirate the not so good one.

    It's simple business competition through and through - again, make a good product and you'll get your fair share of sales from people who think your product is the one worth paying for. Try and sell people crap, or try and sell people the same thing multiple times in multiple formats and don't be suprised when it's not your product they choose to spend their money on.

    I'm sure some people will try to argue it's immoral that people do this and that's a fair enough argument, but arguing the morality of it doesn't change the reality of it and anyone with any business sense would realise that and make sure their business factors it in and produces a product good enough to get their share of the finite pool of consumer cash out there.

  • If I hear some music I like, on the radio, and I then buy the CD, the artist makes some money; if a friend of mine already has the CD and I make a copy, the artist gets stiffed. *I* still get the music, but the people who made it don't get paid.

    I totally understand that artists, the **AA, the IP lobby, etc., have a problem with piracy. It may not be "theft" in the same sense as "stealing someone's car", but it is still a breach of the social contract. Artists spend a lot of time and effort creating art (m

  • Game sales going up...okay.

    Music sales going down...okay.

    Music sales going down because game sales are increasing? Where's the support for that? This has all the appearance of two random facts being pulled out of the air and a causal link assumed for no particular reason.

    (Especially given that, in the graph in TFA, game and DVD sales appear to have been increasing over the whole period [1999-2008] and music sales appear to have started significantly declining in 2004 -- they appear to have been pretty close

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Becasue epeoplem only ahve a finite amoutn of money, so when they spend it on one entertainmen,t it's less then another.

      So it is certianly plausible, even likely.

      The amount of money I spend on music has gone down, but the number of songs I listen to hasn't. This is becasue I only buy the tracks I want. I wonder how many other people do the same thing?

  • Meh, there's also the physical medium to consider. I suspect more people buy games than buy music because many come on proprietary cartridges, which end up being a lot harder to clone than CDs. This may not be true of some of the newer systems if they use standard DVDs, but it used to be that you had to invest quite a bit of time and/or money to rig up a cartridge writer.
  • Can't generalize, but a small mobile phone bill is easily equivalent to a CD album purchase.
    Assuming they were buying a CD a week (they weren't) - that's just knocked 25% off music sales to teenagers alone.

    As has been covered in other posts, I think it's that there's just simply more things to spend money on.

    Oh and the ridiculous price gouging that came in with the transition of physical media to digital downloads. Oh and couple that with the 'pirated' version of music actually being of higher quality
  • People are spending their music money on other things, therefore it's the other things that are hurting the music business, and not piracy?

    There is no evidence presented here that suggests that people would not spend more on music if piracy were eliminated. If it were, the biggest reason people would not spend an amount consistent with industry growth prior to piracy is because of the severe public stigma the RIAA has received from its battle against piracy. As well-deserved as that stigma is, it would no

  • 1. We don't listen to as much music that we buy as we used to.
    2. We buy other stuff.
    3. We do other stuff.

    Hmm. I'm not typical, but I play a fair amount of gamez, have the TV on in the background, and what music I do listen to (usually at the gym or the car) is either radio, which I don't buy, or classic stuff I bought anywheres from 6 to 35 years ago. And the really old stuff I've just updated from LPs to CDs. Which last a long time now that I use players and rip my CDs that I bought.

    Sounds like the mark

  • The money I would have spent on that crap goes some something more usefull so the market still gets this money.
  • If you have the skills to not pay for music or movies, you have the skills to not pay for games. Yet game sales are increasing and music sales are diminishing.

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that games of today have orders of magnitude more budget than they did 10 or 20 years ago, hardware to match, etc, and it makes a huge difference. Combine the increase in immersion with a good story and you are golden. The other thing is that entertainment companies are also competing for your entertainmen
  • .. went the same way. You could buy a blank C15 tape for around the price of a comic, then copy a mate's ZX Speccy game onto each side. Those of us lucky enough to have a part-time job could buy the originals for around a fiver each. Who wanted a comic which you could read in about ten minutes?

    A budget DVD game at AUD $15-$25 or a music album with maybe two decent tracks for $20-$30 .. I know which I'd get more hours of entertainment from.
  • Sell more video game soundtracks.
  • by hazydave (96747) on Saturday June 13, 2009 @05:25AM (#28318451)

    I wrote a letter to "Wired" stating essentially this... two or three years ago, in response to some article or another discussing music piracy.

    When I was a kid (back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, of course), home entertainment media was pretty much your choice of LP, 45-single, cassette, or 8-track. In short, all products of the Recording Industry. Today, you have CDs, LPs (rarely) and downloads from those guys. But that same entertainment dollar is now also split between electronic gadgets, videos (DVD, Blu-Ray, that one guy still buying VHS), and gaming (console, pocket, online).

    Then add in the fact that digital downloads re-introduced the single, and the whole industry plan that removed the single back in the 70s in favor of the whole album is gone... only now, they've grown dependent on selling whole albums. Then add in discounts on digital downloads... I've bought direct form the artist, from eMusic.com, and from Amazon.com. I only buy full albums, but if the digital version is near the CD price, I'll just buy the CD. When I can get an album for $2.00-$4.00, I probably buy the download.

    And that's perhaps a good thing in the long run for the music industry. They'll have to adjust, and stop paying their relatively worthless executives so much. The new point of stability has a CD selling for under $10, so that it's seen as competitive with DVDs at $15 or video games at $30-$60.

    They also need to acknowledge the actual role of record companies in the 21rst century, and price accordingly. There was a time when these guys were responsible for all sorts of artist development... they hired the backing band, they owned the studios, etc. It was very much the same artist management model use in Hollywood of the 40's and 50's. But today, you don't get a recording contract with a major label until you have a fully produced CD to show them... they're not even remotely part of any creative process at that level (they may get involved pushing established artists... after huge cuts to their rosters, due to cost reductions and mergers, they're more dependent than ever on a few big hits every year, despite the fact you can't really depend on that).

    So the Big Label really has a purpose only as a publisher and distributer... the same thing book publishers do. Only, when I buy a Stephen King book, I see his copyright on the backside of the title page. When you buy most CDs, you'll see the record company claiming copyright. That's a projection of just how important they think they are, and when that starts to change, you'll know that there's maybe some hope for the industry. The big labels, or their replacements, will catch onto this... the only question is whether or not a record label still makes any sense, or generates any money, by the time they do. It's easy to see folks like Apple, Wal-Mart, Amazon, Best-Buy, and Starbucks replacing Sony, Warner Bros, EMI, etc. if things keep on their current path.

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. -- Confucius

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