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Study: MP3 Sharing Not Serious Threat To CD Sales 704

Posted by timothy
from the problem-with-static-worldviews dept.
pkaral writes "The two distinguished gentlemen Strumpf and Oberholzer-Gee have most likely made RIAA executives choke on their lunches. Those two economists at Harvard and UNC-Chapel Hill have done the research and the math on how much CD sales are actually hurt by P2P sharing. The answer: A whopping one CD per 5,000 files downloaded. Needless to say, RIAA are already trying to discredit the study."
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Study: MP3 Sharing Not Serious Threat To CD Sales

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  • I expect... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by inertia@yahoo.com (156602) * on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:00PM (#8715286) Homepage Journal
    Now I expect a full apology and retraction for the demonization P2P has gotten from the RIAA, et. al. They should be trying to increase downloads like radio stations try to increase listeners.

    Record labels should distribute approved MP3 tracks, then offer them as singles on CD, just like the radio stations. They should closely scrutinize the downloading habits, then create an album based on the popularity of certain tracks.

    They don't see this as a tool, only as a threat. They're idiots.

    TV Production should do this too. If Viacom released official BitTorrents of Enterprise, complete with banner ads at the bottom of the screen, I'd download them. The banner ads would make me more likely to delete it when I'm done watching it, which is what they'd want, right. Then they can still sell me the DVD.

    That'll probably never happen, though.
    • Re:I expect... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LostCluster (625375) * on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:07PM (#8715388)
      Really, all they'd need to do is release BitTorents of the UPN broadcast complete with the UPN logo and commerical breaks. Yeah, people could try to edit out the breaks, but that'd break the official torrent value.

      TiVo's already proven that people will watch ads even with the 30 second skip enabled, you just have to get the viewer's attention during the 2 seconds they see the ad before hitting the skip.
      • Re:I expect... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mumblestheclown (569987) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:43PM (#8715923)
        TiVo's already proven that people will watch ads even with the 30 second skip enabled, you just have to get the viewer's attention during the 2 seconds they see the ad before hitting the skip.

        Bullshit. TiVO has only "proven" that people will watch particularly appealing ads. once or twice.

        But that misses the point--as anybody who knows anything about advertising will tell you, the "coolness" factor of an ad often is only a minor role in its effectiveness. i could probably watch that doritos commercial with that girl at the laundromat all day, but i still don't buy doritos. rather, factors such as repitition and subconscious awareness building are more important.

        You make the classic slashdot mistake though: ignoring issues of scale. Beause people watch commercials without TiVo, and because some people watch some commercials without TiVo, then tivo has no effect on commercials. Bullshit. With TiVo and the 30 second skip feature, fewer commercials are seen. Right, wrong, or indifferent, that's the truth.

        • by snarkh (118018) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @01:05PM (#8716291)
          as anybody who knows anything about advertising will tell you, the "coolness" factor of an ad often is only a minor role in its effectiveness. i could probably watch that doritos commercial with that girl at the laundromat all day, but i still don't buy doritos. rather, factors such as repitition and subconscious awareness building are more important.

          Wow, your logic is mindboggling.

        • Re:I expect... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @04:51PM (#8719086) Homepage
          " But that misses the point--as anybody who knows anything about advertising will tell you, the "coolness" factor of an ad often is only a minor role in its effectiveness. i could probably watch that doritos commercial with that girl at the laundromat all day, but i still don't buy doritos. rather, factors such as repitition and subconscious awareness building are more important."

          Well, actually I am in advertising so perhaps I add some thoughts to this. The coolness factor is JUST as important as the awareness building. You see, an ad can be repeated as many times as the advertiser has dollars for, but if it is a shit ad, and nobody is interested in it, you start having people just block it out. This has happened with banner ads. People have started to just mentally block out the space of a page where banner ads appear. While technically it counts as an ad impression, realistically it means one less person seeing the ad.

          So while it is important to build in subconscious brand awareness and repetition does indeed play an important role in that, the coolness factor is what gets people to watch the ad every time it is repeated.

    • Re:I expect... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lukewarmfusion (726141) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:07PM (#8715391) Homepage Journal
      "hey should closely scrutinize the downloading habits, then create an album based on the popularity of certain tracks."

      Many artists battle with the record companies on which songs make their records. As an artist, I wouldn't want "market demand" determining the makeup of my album.

      On the other hand, "artists" like P. Diddy or Britney Spears might prefer it that way.
      • Re:I expect... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RickHunter (103108) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:28PM (#8715708)

        True. On the other hand, this would allow you to release songs that wouldn't ordinarily go on your records AND give you actual data (lots of people downloaded this song and e-mailed me to tell me they liked it) to use to fight the record company. Which is another reason why they're scared of P2P. They're afraid that artists wouldn't have to rely on their nebulous marketing data and might actually have some say in their music.

      • Re:I expect... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Tin Foil Hat (705308) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:56PM (#8716128)
        Most of the popular music sold at mass market venues are highly produced and engineered with the purpose of selling as many albums as possible. Unfortunately, that often leaves little room for artistic expression. That is not to belittle the talent of the artist, but to recognize a greater reality in that market: that business is business no matter what the atistic merit of the product.

        If you are aware enough to recognize art when you see or hear it, you are also aware enough to seek out venues that feature such artists. Such venues do not cater to mass marketing. These are the bars, honkey tonks, indie recording labels that have been showcasing the best artists for generations. You find them at the edge of the university district, in the raucus dives, the after hours clubs, in the back of the local news rag that nobody really reads, and in the small record stores in the old strip mall downtown.

        The major labels are good at doing one thing well, and only one thing, and that's making money. Don't let them kid you, even if CD sales are falling, they are still making money hand over fist. They will try to tell you that since this years take is smaller than last years take, they have somehow lost money. That is simply not true. They have made money, just not as much as last year. Boo Hoo.

        If there are any record RIAA executives reading this comment, this is for you: "It's the ECONOMY, stupid!"

        • Re:I expect... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by skarmor (538124) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:05PM (#8717108)
          If you are aware enough to recognize art when you see or hear it, you are also aware enough to seek out venues that feature such artists. Such venues do not cater to mass marketing. These are the bars, honkey tonks, indie recording labels that have been showcasing the best artists for generations. You find them at the edge of the university district, in the raucus dives, the after hours clubs, in the back of the local news rag that nobody really reads, and in the small record stores in the old strip mall downtown.

          You do realize that you sound like a pompous ass right?

          I guess all the people who like music that is popular just can't recognize "art" when they hear it. It's only people such as yourself who hang out at the local "honkey tonks" and "after hours clubs" that truly understand music.

          The truth is that many people know that pop music is a marketing tool (I mean, it is pretty obvious) but enjoy it anway. The value of any work of art is completely subjective. So while you and I might prefer Johnny Cash to Justin Timberlake - this does not give us the authority to act like condescending assholes towards people who do like (in my opinion, overly manufactured and soulless) pop music.
      • Re:I expect... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jarran (91204) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @01:01PM (#8716235)
        Many artists battle with the record companies on which songs make their records. As an artist, I wouldn't want "market demand" determining the makeup of my album. On the other hand, "artists" like P. Diddy or Britney Spears might prefer it that way.

        It;s probably worth pointing out that P. and Britney are making the recording industry a hellova lot more than you are.

        No offense intended, and I'm not saying it's a good thing. In fact, I think that this is one of the reasons why the recording industry fears P2P so much - not because it effects sales, but because it's capable of smashing down the barriers between artist and listener.

        RIAA execs don't lie awake in bed worrying that in 10 years times, sales will have been cut in half by P2P.

        They instead lie awake in bed worrying that in 10 years time, artists will deliver their music straight from the recording studio in their attic, through the server in the basement, to their Internet based community of fans.

        OK, this is an extreme idea, but it's plausibly that it will happen to some lesser greater extent. Regardless, it will make the record companies a much less powerful force.
        • Re:I expect... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by tanguyr (468371) <tanguyr+slashdot@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @03:12PM (#8717964) Homepage
          It;s probably worth pointing out that P. and Britney are making the recording industry a hellova lot more than you are.

          "Of thirty thousand CDs that the industry released last year in the United States, only four hundred and four sold more than a hundred thousand copies, while twenty-five thousand releases sold fewer than a thousand copies apiece. No one seems to be able to predict which those four hundred and four big sellers will be."
          - source: The Money Note [newyorker.com], by John Seabrook

          RIAA execs don't lie awake in bed worrying that in 10 years times, sales will have been cut in half by P2P.

          Unless their cluelessness approaches nearly mystical levels[1], recording industry executives know that digital distribution is inevitable. Sure, they're probably a bunch of old white guys who never heard of the internet before 2001, but that was three years ago, and you'd better bet they have *some* smart people working for them. Fact: digital distribution of music is more efficient than physical distribution - i can download a much wider selection of songs, at any time of the day or night, than i can get at the record store, and i live in a capital city. Imagine if you live in Armpit, Ar.

          But gearing up for digital distribution is going to take a) time and b) money. Time because not everybody has broadband yet - especially when you figure that, to these guys, the market is worldwide. Money because somebody has to invest in the infrastructure to make all this possible. Ask Apple how much they spent on their music store. On the other hand, the infrastructure for doing business in the bricks and mortar world is pretty much paid off and the profit margins are fat.

          The recording industry is squeezing every last cent of profit out of their current way of doing business before they switch to digital delivery and start all over. What keeps them awake at night is the idea that by the time they get there, sharing on p2p will have changed people's value perception of music: that they will think of it as something you get for free on the net.

          They instead lie awake in bed worrying that in 10 years time, artists will deliver their music straight from the recording studio in their attic, through the server in the basement, to their Internet based community of fans.
          In any market with many producers and many consumers, middlemen will always emerge. Over time, seeking to maximize profits by reducing inefficiency, these middlemen will be reduced to a few big players. Once this happens, these big players will start to exhibit monopolistic/oligopolistic behaviour - they will think of the market as "their market", not in terms of the market they compete in, but in terms of the market they own, like a private club. Eventually, this behaviour will distort the market and decrease the gains to the producers and consumers - thus providing incentive for somebody to offer an alternative. If that alternative proves profitable, copycats emerge and the power of the old middlemen diminishes until they are driven out of business (in their current form: they usually become just another copycat, vis. Barnes & Noble) and the market is governed by the new middlemen. Over time, seeking to maximize profits by reducing inefficiency, these new middlemen will be reduced to a few big players....

          Of course: i could be full of shit. "Professional" musicians have existed for thousands of years, whereas the recording industry hasn't. Then again, how many troubadours in the middle ages lived in castles? Only the ones who worked for the king.

          [1]"No one in this world ...has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby."
          -- H.L. Mencken
    • Re:I expect... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by American AC in Paris (230456) * on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:08PM (#8715406) Homepage
      No, they probably do see it as a tool, but a tool that they need to keep a close eye on.

      Their logic probably goes something like this: so long as we can keep making people feel guilty/nervous about filesharing, we'll be able to keep P2P as a promotional tool while minimizing the risk of it taking over as the best way to get music.

      They'd never say this outright, of course, as it'd undermine their PR campaign against P2P. But so long as they keep P2P flooded with crap and pursue the occasional lawsuit, they'll be able to reap the benefit of filesharing without having it grow into a serious replacement for their distribution models.

      They're not idiots, they're cutthroat businessmen. They care about lots of things, but in the end, making money trumps all other concerns.

      • Re:I expect... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by inertia@yahoo.com (156602) * on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:16PM (#8715539) Homepage Journal
        Their logic probably goes something like this: so long as we can keep making people feel guilty/nervous about filesharing, we'll be able to keep P2P as a promotional tool while minimizing the risk of it taking over as the best way to get music.

        How Orwellian. There's a word for that in 1984: Doublethink
      • Re:I expect... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 13Echo (209846) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:00PM (#8717050) Homepage Journal
        I believe that the biggest issue is that it is a tool that they *don't control*. They're losing their power over distribution, very rapidly. Even if people are still buying CDs, what does the future hold when traditional music companies are replaced by alternative means of music distribution?

        They traditional record label and its goons aren't needed anymore. They're becoming extinct.

        The answer is in my sig.
    • Re:I expect... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by IWorkForMorons (679120) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:15PM (#8715521) Journal
      If Viacom released official BitTorrents of Enterprise, complete with banner ads at the bottom of the screen, I'd download them. The banner ads would make me more likely to delete it when I'm done watching it, which is what they'd want, right.

      Right. Until, that is, someone figures out a way to remove those banner ads, leaving a clean near DVD-quality version for everyone to download. Then the industry will cry fowl saying it hurts they're profits, even though the advertising companies have already paid them. Then they'll start creating all these DRM schemes to try and prevent that from happening, which will only be a smokescreen as they use it's failure to press for laws outlawing all media being downloaded from "unauthorized distribution points." At that point, if they succeed, they will effective control all media on the net, because it is illegal to host and upload any media files to anyone whatsoever, unless you pay a licencing fee. Same story that's been going on in one form or another for decades...

      • Re:I expect... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by inertia@yahoo.com (156602) * on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:25PM (#8715680) Homepage Journal
        They'd have to write an application that downloads the official version, strips the banner ad, then posts it practically instantly. So it would then become an arms race. What banner configuration can the official version utilize that will defeat the automated countermeasure?

        The countermeasure would have to be fairly instant in order to compete with the official version because who would want to wait?

        Eventually, the banner would manifest like it does during an NFL game, by "tilting" and stretching the media to make room for the banner in different places. Or, just by overlaying the banner directly on the media.

        Basically, anyone who does us a favor and strips out the banner is actually doing harm because eventually the banner will have to appear in more and more inconvenient places.
      • by mumblestheclown (569987) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @01:00PM (#8716211)
        Right. Until, that is, someone figures out a way
        Sane Sane Sane Sane Sane Sane Sane Sane Sane
        to remove those banner ads, leaving a clean near
        Sane Sane Sane Sane Sane Reasonable Reasonable
        DVD-quality version for everyone to download.
        Reasonable Reasonable Resonable Reasonable Reasonable
        Then the industry will cry fowl saying it hurts
        Reasonable Reasonable Resonable Reasonable Reasonable
        they're profits, even though the advertising
        Reasonable Questionable Questionable Questionable
        companies have already paid them. Then they'll
        Questionable Questionable Questionable Speculative
        start creating all these DRM schemes to try and
        Speculative Speculative Speculative Speculative
        prevent that from happening, which will only be
        Speculative Speculative Conspiratorial Conspiratorial
        a smokescreen as they use it's failure to press
        Conspiratorial Conspiratorial Conspiratorial
        for laws outlawing all media being downloaded
        Paranoid Paranoid Paranoid Paranoid Paranoid
        from "unauthorized distribution points." At that
        point, if they succeed, they will effective control
        Delusional Delusional Delusional Delusional
        all media on the net, because it is illegal to host
        Tinfoil Beanie Tinfoil Beanie Tinfoil Beanie
        and upload any media files to anyone whatsoever, unless
        Paranoid Delusional Paranoid Delusional Paranoid
        you pay a licencing fee. Same story that's been going
        Delusional Insane and Stupid Insane and Stupid
        on in one form or another for decades...
        Insane and Stupid Insane and Stupid
        • Re:I expect... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by IWorkForMorons (679120) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @01:29PM (#8716630) Journal
          Alright, if I could mod this, I'd give it a Funny mod. You've got a point. A lot of it is speculative, because it hasn't happened *yet*. At least not in the TV and Movie arena. The DMCA is doing a pretty good job of allowing companies to sue people in order to prevent them from showing you how to use a Sharpie to disable the DRM on a CD though. It could be used in the same way by TV and movie producers. Oh wait, that's right...the movie guys have already done that (*cough* *cough* *DeCSS* *cough*). And they've already gone through the licencing thing with TV and radio. Why do you think you have to pay for a *broadcasting* licence?

          An example is a friend of mine's mother. She loves religious shows. But where she lives she can't get any. And she can't afford a dish. So a friend of her's set up a transmitter at his place, which was a few miles away, to broadcast the religous channel from his dish. All she had to do was tune in to his transmitter. It didn't take long for the cops to shut that down, with orders from the CBSC [www.cbsc.ca]. He didn't alter the programming in any way. The channel was broadcast in full, commercials and all. But he wasn't allowed to rebroadcast it, because he didn't have a licence to...

          Yeah, sure...a lot of what I said is the tin-foil hat kind of rant, but just because I'm wearing a tin-foil hat doesn't mean I'm not telling the truth...

    • Re:I expect... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by OoSync (444928) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {desllew}> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:18PM (#8715571)
      They should closely scrutinize the downloading habits, then create an album based on the popularity of certain tracks.

      They don't see this as a tool, only as a threat. They're idiots.

      Actually, the real fun with the RIAA and major labels is that they already do such things. Please view the Wired article:
      BigChampagne is Watching You [wired.com].

      I say this is fun because the RIAA talks out both sides of its mouth: it wants to limit major expansion of free P2P downloads (control the download market) and simultaneously use the data from such spontaneous sources to make smart investments on marketing.

      Of course, when they say "CD sales" have gone down, I'm not so sure they mean all CD-based formats (singles, albums, collections, etc.) or just some sub-categories, like CD sigles. I can believe CD singles have been decimated by P2P filesharing, but I'm more reluctant to agree to a rapid, major decline in album sales without proper evidence. In other words, I don't believe what the RIAA claims is exactly what is happening, merely what they want you to think is happening.

      • Re:I expect... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by The-Dalai-LLama (755919) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @01:19PM (#8716514) Homepage Journal
        I can believe CD singles have been decimated by P2P filesharing,

        I'm sure that your two-cents' worth is absolutely correct regarding the effect that filesharing has had on the sale of singles, but I would also like to add my own pennies and say that I think the sale of singles was already on the skids before P2P made the scene.

        Warning: rant commencing in 5...4...3...2...1...

        In my experience (i.e. - Take it for what it's worth; I'm not gonna research a bunch of statistics right now and this rant was spawned by a number of incredibly frustrating attempts to go out and buy the single versions of songs that I liked), many albums (dare I say most) only have one or two good tracks anyway. Selling a cheap single of the one track that people will pay to hear probably cuts into the sale of the full album, which many people will buy anyway just to hear the one or two tracks that they like! In addition to that, CD singles cost upwards of $5 (YMMV), so there wasn't a whole lot of incentive to buy them even before P2P. A $6.99 single is an hour's wages for most of Britney's target market, and the added value of some pop princess doing a crappy B-Side live cover of a Stones song that her producer suggested (after telling her who the Rolling Stones are), is not enough incentive to pony up for a single.

        Your .02 plus my .02 equals 4 cents that I would rather use as a suppository than contribute to the Rectal Invasion and Assault Association.

        The Dalai LLama
        what the hell happened the old Chuck Berry 45's?

    • by God! Awful 2 (631283) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:25PM (#8715677) Journal
      Now I expect a full apology and retraction for the demonization P2P has gotten from the RIAA, et. al. They should be trying to increase downloads like radio stations try to increase listeners.

      If you want to prove something from this, you have to let the market decide. If some labels allow file sharing and the P2P networks actually had mechanisms to enforce copyrights, we would soon see whether file sharing really has a positive or negative effect.

      -a
    • Re:I expect... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SoTuA (683507) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:29PM (#8715730)
      What I expect from this is: the study gets entered as evidence on the RIAA lawsuits so they can't claim you owe them more money than you and your children will make on your entire lives for each uploaded file.

      But don't think this legitimizes copyrighted work sharing. It's still wrong, folks. The fact that it doesn't hurt nearly as bad as the RIAA would have us believe doesn't make it any righter.

    • Re:I expect... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mumblestheclown (569987) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:51PM (#8716040)
      "They should closely scrutinize the downloading habits, then create an album based on the popularity of certain tracks."

      Do you realize how close this sounds to 1998-esque dot-com business plans? "Let's give away free pies so that, we, umm, can see which pies people like so that we can, umm, sell pies!"

      However, you do one better, with your inane "create an album" idea. Ignoring the first fundamental fact that you shit on artist ingretiy this way and ignoring for a moment that the RIAA has PLENTY of popularity data already based on record sales, polls, radio monitoring, and a host of other means and they dont need terribly much more, you seem to forget that the RIAA's constituent members want to maximize their profit. If the public is willing to buy 10 individual cds to get 12 songs they like, then why bother putting all 12 songs on 1 cd?

      You do one better still by talking about video downloads and ignoring the 10,000 pound gorilla in the room which is to say that as bandwidth increases, in a few years videos and movies are going to be facing the exact same problem that the RIAA has today and you'll bitch about the DVD just as you bitch about physical CDs today.

      I dont know who in hell modded you as insightful.

  • RIAA (Score:5, Funny)

    by dolo666 (195584) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:00PM (#8715289) Journal
    RIAA: File sharing hurts our beloved industry.
    Student A: Have you heard that new song from ? It's awesome!!!!
    Student B: Yeah I'm going to see them next week in LA!! Road Trip!!!
    Student C: I'm going to buy that album they put out last year.
    Student D: Me too!
    Student A: Yeah it was largely underrated, I guess.
    Harvard Prof Guy: Consumption of music increases dramatically with the introduction of file sharing...
    RIAA: Harvard SUCKS!
    • Re:RIAA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hattig (47930) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:22PM (#8715630) Journal
      If it wasn't for file sharing, I wouldn't have gone to see a band play live on Sunday (Icon of Coil, for those of you into industrial/EBM stuff, support from Deathboy, the most excellent Swarf [swarf.info] [playing live in USA soon, go and see them if you can] and Solitary Experiments).

      I wouldn't have this 3 CD limited edition box set of Blutengel sitting next to me here. I wouldn't have 3 Cryonica Tanz compilation CDs so I can pick other bands I like and then buy their stuff ...

      I wouldn't even be into this whole genre! I'd still be looking around local music stores in a bored manner because there is nothing new or exciting on offer.
  • by theMerovingian (722983) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:03PM (#8715326) Journal

    two distinguished gentlemen Strumpf and Oberholzer-Gee have most likely made RIAA executives choke on their lunches

    Thats all you have to do to be distinguished around here...

  • by bathmatt (638217) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:03PM (#8715331)
    I feel the best thing about P2P is that you learn about other music that you don't hear on the radio. This is what scares the RIAA the most, not a loss of sales but of a loss of control on what you listen to. If people start listening to independent artists they will no longer just listen to britney spears or limp bizkit or whatever crap the RIAA forces down peoples radio.
    • by keirre23hu (638913) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [laer4k2j]> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:11PM (#8715455) Homepage
      I agree... this news is not really shocking.. if your album is crap and people find out before they spend their hard earned money on it... guess what? they're reluctant to buy it.


      Iff the recording industry had a clue, they would take the poplarity of P2P filesharing AND the change in their sales numbers as proof that people are sick of paying inflated prices for music of decreasing quality. Just yet another example of people with money trying to use people with less money to keep their broken business model floating...


      I would like to see more studies on this subject though. It would be nice if the entertainment industry would get over themselves and began to value their customers' wants and needs.
      • by skarmor (538124) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @01:12PM (#8716404)
        I agree... this news is not really shocking.. if your album is crap and people find out before they spend their hard earned money on it... guess what? they're reluctant to buy it.

        I'm not so sure that this is the case. The industry promotes the hell out of its crappy pop releases in order to sell more albums - everyone knows the quality of the songs before they make a purchase. The sad fact is that many people have no musical taste - they enjoy the manufactured pop stars and the tired chord progressions that form the base for modern rock.

        Unfortuneately this lack of taste is not limited only to children I've known many adults who listen to Britney Spears or Justin Timerberlake - and when I call them on it they claim that "it's irony". But I don't buy it - wannabe hipsters use irony as a way to legitimize their awful musical tastes.

        The point is that many people like crap. They will continue to buy whatever the pop music/MTV marketing machine tells them is cool this month (including CDs, clothing, video games, sports drinks, batteries and virtually every other product). Filesharing has virtually no affect on the buying habits of these people.
  • by queen of everything (695105) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:03PM (#8715334) Homepage

    I have found out about so many bands that I like that I would buy their cds or see them in concert because of mp3 sharing. I never would just go buy a cd of some band I have never heard of; but I can download an mp3 or 2 and discover that I really like the band. I'm glad that there are people studying it from the opposite angle of the RIAA.

  • Hilarious. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:04PM (#8715337)
    I love it when people pounce on one study that happens to agree with their viewpoint and discredit studies that contradict them.

    I'm talking to you guys, not the RIAA.
    • Re:Hilarious. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rabel (531545) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:15PM (#8715531)
      I think the point is that this is a study by a couple of guys that can most likely be considered "unbiased" since, well, since there isn't really any money to be made by supporting P2P file sharing.

      Most other studies that show the P2P is hurting CD sales are put out by folks that are either paid by the record industry or can be otherwise deemed uncredible.

      Oh, and /. readers are certainly biased... just making the (obvious) point that there's a reason why what appears to be an unbiased study is pounced on by the readers here.
  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:04PM (#8715338)
    Free over the air radio has always been considered a promotional vehicle for music artists, that hearing a song on the radio is more likely to inspire sales than prevent it.

    More or less, at this 1 CD per 5,000 downloads number, downloading is being called a push, it gives just about as much as it takes away from the recording industry.

    I think what the RIAA is really scared of is the fact that P2P distribution might allow an artist to gain fame and make money without going through the "major label system" and that'd be the death of that system. So, it's not that P2P threatens CD sales as much as it threatens RIAA-member CD sales by replacing them with something else.
  • Discredit? (Score:5, Funny)

    by lukewarmfusion (726141) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:04PM (#8715340) Homepage Journal
    RIAA:
    Obviously, these "economists" are just a bunch of nerds with too much time on their hands. What kind of degree does it take to teach at Harvard? A PhD? Like that means anything. Our marketing guy has a Masters. These professors don't even have any platinum records.
  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hermeshome.se (233303) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:04PM (#8715345) Homepage
    There are probably no study in the world that could convince RIAA that P2P is good for business. They've made up their minds.
    BUT, it might convince lawmakers to whink twise, and it shows the common man what they already know: if you want something that is good, you'll pay for it. If you got a broad selection to sample, you'll more likely find something YOU like.
  • Regardless... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jwthompson2 (749521) * <james@NoSPAM.plainprograms.com> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:05PM (#8715363) Homepage
    of whether P2P hurts CD sales, the issue that still needs to be dealt with is the legallity and morality/ethics of the issue. Perhaps in light of this laws or business practices need to be modified but until such time people should not be encouraged by this to behave in an illegal and unethical/immoral manner.
  • by sboyko (537649) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:05PM (#8715366) Homepage
    Larry Rosin, the president of Somerville, N.J.-based Edison Media Research, said ...
    "Anybody who says that the Internet has not affected sales is just not paying attention to what is going on out there," he said. "It's had an effect on everything else in life, why wouldn't it have an effect on this?"


    I think everyone agrees that the Internet has affected CD sales. What they (RIAA) don't get is that it can have a very positive impact on music sales and marketing. It opens a new way to sell music, which the RIAA has failed to take advantage of in any meaningful way. If they were to embrace the possibilities I think they could increase sales dramatically.
    • by LostCluster (625375) * on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:10PM (#8715440)
      The real problem from the RIAA members is that they've invested millions in CD-pressing plants, and they're not interested in letting that barrier to entering the market go down so easy. If anybody with a $99/mo. simple webserver can distribute music and get their songs picked up by the radio, then the size of the pie will stay the same, but the RIAA members will each end up with smaller pieces because of all the new players that take little bits.
      • by worm eater (697149) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:48PM (#8715980) Homepage
        It's not that expensive to produce high-quality CDs. Yeah, it takes a little work, but the investment is not that high (if you're making 1000 CDs, it's about $1-2 per CD, with liner notes & jewel cases). What costs money is the marketing & distribution, and this is where the RIAA really shines. Anybody with a couple of thousand dollars can put out a short run CD, but getting that CD onto Clear Channel stations, MTV, VH1 and every Best Buy, Blockbuster Music, Tower Records, etc. in the country is the hard part. Sure, it's cheaper to put up an album on a web site than to press CDs, but who's going to download it? If I was the RIAA I would be more scared of having independant artists on iTunes & Napster, right alongside Outkast -- sure, they still don't have the massive advertising budget, but the distribution model legitimizes the music to some extent.
  • by CharAznable (702598) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:08PM (#8715407)
    is of course lagging music quality! If Metallica's St. Anger is not selling like hotcakes it's because it's abject, utter crap, not because you can get it for free on the internet.
    • by surprise_audit (575743) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:26PM (#8715691)
      It's not just the quality of the music that's letting the RIAA down. The fact that they've deliberately reduced the volume of CDs issued in the last couple of years plays a part too.

      No, I don't remember where that little tidbit originally came from, but it was a bit of research that basically showed that the drop in available CDs was suspiciously close the RIAA starting to bitch and moan about the drop in sales, and it came very soon after P2P started to become fashionable.

  • by jetkust (596906) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:08PM (#8715409)
    ...A study by Sharman Networks shows that CD sales are hurting file downloads on their popular file sharing network Kazaa, and have been for some time. Sharman Networks proposes a tax on every CD sold to accomodate for these losses...
  • by lavalyn (649886) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:09PM (#8715417) Homepage Journal
    You may think they are trying to keep what market and distribution methods are available at a cartel. While that's what they are publicly doing, I doubt the masterminds behind the member companies are that perversely blind.

    You have a bunch of big corporations, that by definition are not going to be able to react quickly to new changes in the environment. There's layers of bureaucracy within, and many times (think Sony Computer vs Sony Music) the left hand wants to slap the wrists of the right. I think they're just looking for a way to take advantage of the new system but don't have a clean implementation ready to put into production. So they make loud threatening noises and otherwise put up a front.

    Then they come out with a new system that everybody had already proposed ten times over three years ago. And everybody, especially the cartel members, end up happy.

    "Intel will continue to use its own IA64. No, we are not going to use AMD's x86-64 extensions."
  • A counter point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GreenCrackBaby (203293) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:10PM (#8715431) Homepage

    Songs that were heavily downloaded showed no measurable drop in sales, the researchers found after tracking sales of 680 albums over the course of 17 weeks in the second half of 2002. Matching that data with activity on the OpenNap file-sharing network, they concluded that file sharing actually increases CD sales for hot albums that sell more than 600,000 copies. For every 150 downloads of a song from those albums, sales increase by a copy, the researchers found.

    I think this information needs to be approached skeptically, as there's no way to measure reliably "what would have happened." Given a lack of P2P sharing, can you say for certain how many CDs you would have bought/would not have bought? Of course not.

    If CD sales for a popular download increase by 2%, can you ever prove they wouldn't have gone up 3% if not for downloading?

    I just don't think this can be proven either way.
    • The study only compares it against other songs that were being traded and sold at the same time. It's not comparing what could have been, but more along the lines of the songs that were traded did better than the ones that weren't.

      I do agree, it's impossible to say for sure - Maybe the music industry would be dead now if not for P2P, maybe it would be twice as big. No one can say anything besides "probably" or "probably not" for either of those, at least without a time machine.
  • by DroopyStonx (683090) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:11PM (#8715454)
    The reason I stopped buying CDs and continue to download mp3s is because of how the RIAA reacted to the situation. Many others feel the same why. Why should we buy CDs? I'll support the artists by going to their concerts instead.

    They like to jump around like a big angry monkey and spread their lies and misinformation to get the public (and government) to see them as "poor me, people aren't buying our music" instead of coming to the realization of "Hey, maybe the music we're putting out is junk."

    Then they huff and puff, throw lawsuits left and right in an attempt to SCARE people into buying their products. Coercion, anyone?

    I think we've all known for quite some time that mp3 downloading is equivalent to when recordable cassette tapes were introduced. There was a frenzy from the industry as if it was the end of music and sales as they knew it. It wasn't.

    Now we're seeing the truth.
  • by w3weasel (656289) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:13PM (#8715472) Homepage
    Water declared 'wet'
    Sky often described as 'blue'
    RIAA,MPAA and SCO still suffer from delusions of sustainable profit via litigation
    'Open Source Software' community remains fragmented Microsoft called 'evil' by some
    Apple hardware percieved as 'expensive'
    Intel based hardware discoved to fast, moderately reliable, and disposable.

    okay enough stoopid jokes
    I personally have bought more CD's because I discovered a band I had never heard of via mp3 download.

    foreach ($monopoly_action as $headline)
    {$knowledge = beat($headline);}
    function beat($deadhorse)
    {if($deadhorse){return "jelly";}}
  • Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Psmylie (169236) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:13PM (#8715487) Homepage
    File-sharing music has hurt sales. Because now you don't need to drop a bundle of cash on an album before realizing that the cd sucks and never listening to it again.
  • Falling sales (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stecoop (759508) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:15PM (#8715516) Journal
    RIAA points to data showing that CD sales fell from a high of more than $13.2 billion in 2000 to $11.2 billion in 2003

    [me] Who can I blame for my stocks, mutual funds and 401k falling during this timeframe.
    [RIAA] Those bad people we've been talking about downloading music.
    [me] So the tech bubble was just hype?
    [RIAA] Yes and soon as we start making more money we'll refill coffers with funds.
    [me] You mean from those $3,000 lawsuits from people that are buying your music.
    [RIAA] Err, uh, ahem...
    [me] I see so your working for the little guy now?
    [RIAA] Err, uh, aheeem.....

    You think it goes something likes that?
  • actual paper (Score:5, Informative)

    by jdunlevy (187745) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:15PM (#8715529) Homepage
    Available in PDF format via Koleman Strumpf's site [unc.edu].
  • by RLiegh (247921) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:17PM (#8715551) Homepage Journal
    Instead of circle jerking on slashdot--if you really care about this issue, send a copy of the study to your local congress-critters. Yes, it's a drop in the bucket compared to what the RIAA shovels at them, but it's at least more tangable than "mp3s @r3 t3h r0x0r" and it's a damned sight better than nothing!
  • content (Score:5, Funny)

    by Archalien (197877) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:18PM (#8715561)
    1 CD per 5,000 files.

    That should show the RIAA how hard it is to find decent music these days.

    Quality. Not quantity.
  • by wwwrench (464274) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:19PM (#8715579) Homepage
    I realize it is popular Slashdot dogmatism to insist that filesharing doesn't harm CD sales, and this may be true now, but what about in the future as bandwidth increases?? The RIAA might be evil, but they are not completely stupid. Right now, downloading songs one by one and tracking down every song of an album is time-consuming. But the RIAA realize that it is only a matter of time until it is faster and more convenient to download an entire album then go to a music store. When that time comes, their current business model will be borked. Other than distribution, the only service the record companies provide is marketing. When P2P distribution beats them out, they will die. Bands don't need a record company to finance the making of their album (with ever-cheaper home recording equipment). They can distribute music by themselves. So the only value the record company gives the band is marketing (and this doesn't add any value for the listener). So the RIAA realizes that in the long-term, they could be fucked. They might be able to retain the business of folks willing to listen to pap fed to them by marketing reps, but that is about it. (Not that this isn't a sizable source of revenue though....) I hope eventually artists will be able to build online music communities of people willing to support them, and then the RIAA will wither and die.

    • by ewhac (5844) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @01:28PM (#8716620) Homepage Journal

      I realize it is popular Slashdot dogmatism to insist that filesharing doesn't harm CD sales, and this may be true now, but what about in the future as bandwidth increases??

      I got news for you: Bandwidth isn't going to increase.

      The cost of real bandwidth -- actual, symmetrical, guaranteed bandwidth, not that overprovisioned ADSL or cable modem crud you may be using -- has remained essentially flat for the last three years. Costs for T1 circuits are still running roughly USD$1/kilobit/sec for "dialtone"; extra charges may apply for bandwidth usage over a certain amount.

      There is no market pressure to bring these prices down, and no alternative source to provide lower-cost services since the ILECs have a monopoly and just got the government to agree to lock out CLECs from their central offices. Wireless won't help; at some point, you have to tie down to the wired networks, and you're back to paying the ILECs again. Fiber to the home won't help; it will be rolled out by the ILECs or, worse, by your cable company who only wants you to watch, not talk back (no Counterstrike servers for you, muttonhead).

      So, no, I don't see a significant drop in datacomm prices any time soon, which means the Internet for end-users isn't going to get any faster.

      Schwab

  • by .nuno (153038) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:21PM (#8715610) Homepage Journal
    I stopped downloading mp3s regularly already some time ago (about 2 years) not really because I was afraid of the RIAA/MPAA/whomever_else, but rather because I was tired of downloading Jason Donovan's latest hit under the name Rolling_Stones_Start_Me_Up_Live_In_Birmingham.mp3.

    During the 3 year period where I did use Napster (and Kazaa later on) to download mp3s I bought the bulk of my 250+ CD collection, mostly of bands that I had initially heard via P2P. In that sense, it did work a bit like radio.

    Not unlike many others, I also burned CDs with those MP3 files, but there's nothing like owning the real thing(TM) so I ended up buying the CDs of bands that I really liked.

    This has been said (only today) already about 300.000 times but I'll say it again (this is /. after all):
    When will ??AA realize that CDs don't sell because:
    a) sometimes the music does suck
    b) we all get the feeling of being ripped off when paying 20 EUR+ for any CD or DVD, especially knowing how much of that goes to the artist
    c) trying stuff is something you have to do. Would you by a new pair of trousers without trying them first? Would you buy a car you never drove?
  • Damn lies! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LMCBoy (185365) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:21PM (#8715613) Homepage Journal
    Quoth the researchers:
    Oberholzer-Gee and his colleague, University of North Carolina's Koleman Strumpf, also said that their "most pessimistic" statistical model showed that illegal file sharing would have accounted for only 2 million fewer compact discs sales in 2002, whereas CD sales declined by 139 million units between 2000 and 2002.

    Respondeth the RIAA:
    Weiss cited a survey conducted by Houston-based Voter Consumer Research that found those who illegally download more music from the Internet buy less from legitimate outlets. Of respondents ages 18-24 who download, 33 percent said they bought less music than in the past year while 21 percent bought more. Of those ages 25-34, the survey found 25 percent bought less and 17 percent bought more, Weiss said.

    Earth to Weiss: These people bought fewer CDs in the past year, yes. But your stats show nothing about that being correlated with the fact that they are file sharers. Where is the control group? The stats on CD purchases of non-sharers? I'm sure their CD purchases skyrocketed last year, right? Oh wait:


    illegal file sharing would have accounted for only 2 million fewer compact discs sales in 2002, whereas CD sales declined by 139 million units between 2000 and 2002.


    Huh. Who'da thunk it?
  • Times have changed (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lusid1 (759898) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:22PM (#8715638)
    Now when I buy a CD, it's because it's a really good CD, not because it was marketed really well. I have P2P to thank for that. Besides, P2P is just a scapegoat. If sales are down, it's really because more of that disposable income is being spent on DVD movies.
  • RIAA vs GPL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by levram2 (701042) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:25PM (#8715671)
    RIAA has restrictions that you can't distribute the music they produce. The GPL has restrictions that you can't distribute binaries without giving access to the source code. Downloading music withot paying for it is morally equivalent to using the GPL in closed source products.

    If you don't agree with the license, don't use it.

    Hurt the RIAA by stop using their music.
  • I am not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tangurena (576827) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:28PM (#8715709)
    In my own experience, I used napster to find songs that my local radio stations would not play. I used napster to track down interesting new music, and then go purchase the albums. This led to me purchase between 5 and 20 albums per month.

    As Napster became more and more vilified, companies refused to let employees use napster at work. As a result, by the end of 2001, I was no longer able to use it at work (and had dial up at home, so the time it took to screen potential candidates was approaching an hour per song). With the covert and overt poisoning of tracks placed for sharing, it is not worth my effort to sift through the trash in the hopes of finding gems.

    Since being unable to hear new music due to the interference of the record industry (and its cronies BayTSP and congress), and the concentration of ownership by conglomerates like Clear Channel, all the radio stations are becoming the same play list. As there is no way for me to discover new music worth listening to, my purchases of albums dropped from 200+ per year in each of 1999 and 2000 to 1 album in 2002 and zero in 2003. I have about 700 CDs, enough CDs that I probably do not need to purchase any more for the rest of my life. Since the record industry is determined to prevent me from discovering new music, it looks like I already have a lifetime worth of music. From 200 albums per year to zero, the RIAA has decided that I do not need to buy any new music ever again.

    What could convince me to buy more albums? I would have to find stuff worth listening to. I enjoy classical, techno, jazz, new age, folk and stuff that gets called world. With the exception of 2 spanish language stations, my local radio stations only play country, pop and rap. The spanish language stations have more interesting music than the english language ones. Guess I need to brush up on my spanish.

    The current distribution system for music is BROKEN. Existing and proposed legislation just serves to enforce and prop up a distribution system that was (and still is) corrupt and crooked for the last 70 years. I chose to not support the corruption with my money. I chose to not support the crooked politicians who dance to the tune of the RIAA. It is my money and there is no law requiring me to subsidise their corruption, not that it would be a constitutionally valid one even should one exist.

    Unfortunately, the RIAA have painted themselves into a corner with the jihad they have declared against P2P. There is no possible way for them to admit their mistake without them losing billions in the RICO lawsuits that would result. Unfortunately for the RIAA, it is them or America, and and currently, the RIAA is winning the propaganda battle while subverting the justice system of the US. It is as corrupt and evil as if AlQeda was in charge of the White House.

  • by Dorf on Perl (738169) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:29PM (#8715720)
    Copyright is good when it is in the right hands: those of a work's creator(s). Unfortunately, many artists have been/are being forced to enter the music market through the "loving" hands of the RIAA member companies, where they lose important rights ("voluntarily," of course).

    A work's creator, and only the creator, should have full control of the work's copyright for a strictly limited time, after which the work should enter the public domain. This is all just my opinion, and is an awful lot of shoulding, but there it is.

    Also, I haven't seen this suggestion here before, but if you want to try out different artists/genres/whatever, and if you live near a half-decent public library system with half-decent interlibrary loan services, you can check out CDs instead of (at the moment) illegally copying them.

    Just my 2 cents worth (for large values of 2).

  • o sweet sweet irony! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MoFoQ (584566) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:31PM (#8715754)
    gotta love it. Kudos to Harvard for publishing facts that most of us already had an idea were true. Now with Harvard saying, yes it is, it gives more weight to what most of us have been saying.

    Of course, what if most of the execs of the RIAA are graduates of Yale or Princeton? (ivy league rivalry).

    Anyways, this is something I've been saying for years. Even before file-sharing, I rarely bought any CD's, mainly because of the crappy schtuff out there and because of the lack of funds. It's just that both reasons are even stronger now (thx enron/dotcom bust/etc.).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @12:39PM (#8715870)
    The studies referenced to by the RIAA were based on people's sensation about how P2P music sharing has changed their music buying habits, whereas Strumpf and Oberholzer's study was based on purely factual data. I'd be more willing to trust the latter... Ever wondered how precise were those studies on how many sexual partners you had in your life? You get the idea...
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @01:16PM (#8716477) Journal
    Seriously, thye may genuinely not believe the report, in which case, they should simply say that, but they seem to be a lot more aggressive than that with their refusals.

    What if the record companies actually considered for a second, that there was a possibility that this report was actually right! Then the only possible result could be to increase their profits! By just dismissing it as rubbish, they're harming themselves more than anyone else.
  • They hate me (Score:4, Informative)

    by chaidawg (170956) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @01:21PM (#8716551)
    I have not bought a cd in five years, the RIAA has every reason to hate me. However, I have found a number of new bands through p2p apps. I like the bands, not the distribution associations. Therefore I have a large collection of hats, shirts, posters, and other merchandise, bought directly from the bands websites, where they made more than 5% of my purchase price. Support the artists, not the leeches.
  • What to do about it? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tadd (51292) <tadd.davisNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @02:42PM (#8717607) Journal
    Is it not amazing we get all excited about a study that affirms what we already "know" and try to discredit anything that disagrees with that "knowledge"?

    We should declare a moratorium on whining about the RIAA and their ilk. Their deep hatred of file sharing p2p technologies and anything else related to this subject is known and has been repeated ad nauseum.

    Spend that time and energy:
    1. Going to live local independent music shows, concerts, festivals.
    2. Learn to play an instrument or sing and make your own music.
    3. Buy music and fan crap from independent artists, or directly from the more commercial artists when possible, or just do not buy it, AND, call or write them a letter letting them know why you did, or did not. Businesses do respond to being hit in the wallet, if enough people let them know about what is being done and why.
    4. Somebody want to start a database of "I heard it on a p2p and liked it so much I PAID for it!" testimonial? I know many others and I have done this.

    The technologically advanced among us will ALWAYS find a way to use the system to our advantage, getting their free beer, etc. they always have, and always will. The people who gladly pay their toll to RIAA, MPAA, Clear Channel, Ticket Master, etc will continue to do so, partially out of ignorance, partially out of not minding the leeches making a buck or a million, as long as they get their pop culture fix.
  • What P2P Does Best (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @04:19PM (#8718692)
    What does P2P do best?

    It re-ignites/increses an interest in music overall more than any other one thing.

    If you can't understand why that's a good thing, then I probably can't explain it to you any better.

  • by nnet (20306) on Tuesday March 30, 2004 @09:00PM (#8721343) Homepage Journal
    I've said it once, and I'll say it again, Just Say No To RIAA Affiliated Bands/Labels.(R)

    By using your purchasing power, you decide the fate of these almost-Nazi-like corporations. Send them the message where it hurts them the most, The Bottom Line. By denying the RIAA your hard earned dollars, their shareholders suffer. And while they'll claim p2p responsible for further reductions in sales (as if the economy, CD prices, the thousands of stupid lawsuits that contribute to the price of a CD aren't enough), the truth will be shown that the above study, and other studies that have shown the RIAA incorrect, are in fact true, and the RIAA will be forced not only to rethink their PR strategy, but their ailing dinosaur of a business model.

    The number of independant bands/labels has increased a hell of a lot, and of course the quality of the music is superior simply because there isn't the corporate pressure to compromise musical integrity just to satisfy a shareholder. I discovered a progressive rock stream, progrock.com [progrock.com], via an article here on SlashDot regarding the current release of IceCast [icecast.org]. This stream has been the main source of bands whose CDs I now purchase.

    I haven't purchased an RIAA affiliated CD in probably over 5 years because they haven't released anything worth buying, especially at US$20 a CD. During that time I've been purchasing independant CDs from non-RIAA affiliated labels, and I do so gladly knowing the artist receives more of the money, and the quality of music is far superior. The cost of these CDs is typically US$5-US$7 (not including S&H) cheaper than RIAA affiliated labels CDs too.

    As an independant artist, I offer my own original music in mp3 format, freely downloadable, and distributable, see the link in the sig below.

"The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, preserved their neutrality." -- Dante

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