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Music industry hopes paid downloads will save the day

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By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Sunday, January 11, 2004
News Categories: Digital Media

“After four straight years of declining CD sales, the recording industry is hanging hopes for a recovery on music fans going digital and being willing to pay for it.

More than 19.2 million digital tracks were sold online in the last six months, according to Nielsen Soundscan, helping to narrow the music industry’s losses last year. [...]

‘We think 2004 is going to be the year of subscription content on portable devices,’ said Scott Kauffman, head of digital music retailer MusicNow Inc. ‘The notion of figuring out which 12 songs to put on a disc that doesn’t fit in your pocket when you already have 12,000 that fit in your pocket ... that’s just over.’”

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Comments

1

Hm, I’m not really sure how to close my article, so I’ll just interview the security guard that works in my building.

Posted by Adam on January 11, 2004 at 9:30 AM (PDT)

2

i dont think that digital music (mp3, aac) will replace CDs (which are digital but you know what i mean). its DEFINATELY the way forward for protable devices, as its just so conveniant. but the concept of owning a cd is just more satifying than something that isnt physical. except for the hardware you play it on.

i love the fact i can take my iPod round my mates house and have a collection bigger than all of my mates put together but its not the same as owning a CD, which brings a different form of love!

Posted by silver_haze20 on January 11, 2004 at 10:36 AM (PDT)

3

Until paid music downloads are without ANY restrictions and a reasonable price (representing the fact that you are not getting anything physucal, but only desired information), there will be substantive and continued illegal downloading.

Example; I will *NOT* pay to have music that is restricted.

Tom

Posted by Thomas Davie on January 11, 2004 at 10:40 AM (PDT)

4

legal download services can’t save the music industry. They want to blame their decline on illegal p2p sharing, but in part it’s their consolidation efforts in the late 1990’s that has had more affects.

During that period, many independent lables and mid-size lables were bought out by the big 5. The music industry, attempted to cut cost by promoting only “sellable” bands and artists. Hence rise of the “boy bands” and “pop princesses.” This left less choices for us as consumers.

Instead of buying what’s spoon fed to us, we simply bought lesss music. The music industry has to acknowledge this fact, in order to overcome their current situation. In a free market, it’s about choices.

Okay I will admit that illegal downloads is part of the problems, but when you put out great content, people will pay. You look at what most people download and it’s mostly crap. P2p networks do contribute to the problem, but not to the extent that the music industry would like to say.

Posted by Starboard on January 11, 2004 at 2:46 PM (PDT)

5

Starboard, that’s a very good point. Ask anyone who has any sort of aspirations of being in the music biz, and they’ll tell you that the record companies now require bands to sign over merchandising rights, their web site and even their name. Add to that the fact that the comapnies are more interested in chruning out one-hit wonders than actual artist development.

What’s ironic about the whole thing is that the RIAA touts that we should think of music as art, not as a commodoty. But the music business has commodified music since day one, and their recent emphasis on pop princesses and boy bands doesn’t do anything to make a consumer think it’s anything but a single-serve disposible top 40 hit.

Given this, is it any wonder why the big record companies are losing money? Or that people have no respect for the “art,” so have no problem downloading it for free?

Posted by Dangerboy on January 11, 2004 at 5:40 PM (PDT)

6

wait….19.2 mil in 6 months, apple was claiming around that( iTMS alone), with aspirations of iTMS selling 100+ a year

Posted by adam on January 11, 2004 at 7:32 PM (PDT)

7

Adam, I think that was basing it on the current growth curve.  But I don’t think that growth will continue like that forever.

Posted by dethbrakr in Tacoma, WA on January 11, 2004 at 9:03 PM (PDT)

8

Check your local Record store…

How much space is dedicated to DVD’s where back in the days they sold CD’s only. When I want to spend money in a record store, changes are I’ll spend it on a DVD instead of a CD. Hence, less CD’s are getting sold.

Posted by damaded on January 12, 2004 at 12:53 AM (PDT)

9

To those who say, “I will *NOT* pay to have music that is restricted.”:

Well, if you’ve ever bought a CD, DVD, or a piece of computer software, you have paid for something that is restricted by copyright and licensing.  The only difference between these and the restrictions on digital downloads is that it’s a little easier for the consumer NOT to abide by them.

Posted by The Raven in USA on January 12, 2004 at 5:29 AM (PDT)

10

ive heard you can download songs through aol…for the ipod..and pay for them…i just got my ipod..does anyone know how to go about this…thanks

Posted by Mike on January 12, 2004 at 5:39 AM (PDT)

11

Mike: Here’s a link to the press release about AOL members having access to the iTunes Music Store:
http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2003/dec/18aol.html

Posted by Atomic Bomb in Mid-Atlantic on January 12, 2004 at 5:47 AM (PDT)

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