Tag: <span>BPI</span>

An article in the Metro this morning covered the statement by the British Phonographic Institute (BPI) that they would consider prosecuting people sharing music files. They will be targetting the ‘heavy’ user of course, so people like you and I should be OK (I don’t think I’m actually sharing ANY music files at present… and obviously I’m not sharing anything like TV episodes or anything…). They are insisting that the downward trend in sales of albums and singles is wholly down to illegal file sharing.

I think not.

There is a very good reason I don’t buy chart music anymore. It’s crap. Yes I’m generalising but the few singles I do like are typically from an artist whose album I already own or consistitute what I would term “transient pop” – I quite enjoy it’s catchy melody or chorus whilst it’s on the airwaves (weeks before it actually charts of course) but have no real urge to own a permanent copy of it, especially not for £3.99.

Mind you, I have to admit that I’m slightly bemused as to why album sales are down as I’m buying more than ever, particularly since we started our ‘music club’ at work – bi-weekly one of us brings in an album for us all to listen to, and we discuss/berate/laugh at it. It’s certainly increased the diversity of my CD collection at home, much to the bemusement of my wife (let’s just say that she’s stuck in the 80s and leave it at that). I also recalling reading a news article late last year that stated that album sales were UP on last year’s figures, so which is it? Up or down?

I’m thinking that albums sales will always be prone to fluctuation, and it may be possible that more people are buying CDs ‘cheaper’ rather than ‘less’.

Single sales can be blamed on the approach that the music industry has taken. Remember how it used to be..

[cue wavy ‘dream’ effect, everything shimmers and turns to cloud, then clears to reveal “how it used to be”]

The first time you heard a song was maybe a week in advance of release, and even then it was rare that a single went straight in at Number One. Songs used to climb the chart. Remember that? Do you remember sitting with a tape, recording the chart show, trying to pause at the right moment so you’d end up with a music only tape of the latest singles. It was almost like a competition – Who has the best chart tape this week? – and great pride was taken on a Sunday evening. Hell I even remember once recording it on TWO tapes at the same time. Not sure why, but I’m sure it was a good idea at the time.

To be honest I’m taking an almost perverse pleasure at watching the music industry bleat and moan about losing money. For years it’s been know that we are being overcharged for our CDs. My message to members of the BPI is this: “Suck it up”. I’m sure your marble floored, 10 bedroom house (with ‘collection’ of Ferraris) will compensate.

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CD settlement forces prices up.

OK, strictly speaking CD-WOW were breaking a law (I think, I can’t actually find proof of this anywhere, but I’ve not looked too hard), but considering the ‘threat’ to CD sales (which appear to be rising NOT falling) that the record industry keeps moaning about, you’d think they’d be glad that any CDs are getting sold at all.

In saying that, I’ve heard little from the BPI as it sits quietly in the background letting the RIAA take the spotlight in the battle against evil ‘downloaders’, so it’s hardly surprising that, when given the opportunity to prove they are still doing something they grab it with both hands. I should also temper this ‘rant-ette’ with the knowledge that CD-WOW

Thing is, as it stands at the moment, the record labels still get the same from each sale, CD-WOW will benefit from “any press is good press” and they will have the larger sales margin which has been enforced on them (I’m quite sure that the increase won’t ALL be spent obtaining CDs from other sources), so who is getting screwed in all this?

Ohh yes, the consumer.

In related news, whilst digging around to get some background to this, I came across some UK piracy figures (nice to see they are up-to-date…).
It should be noted that of counterfeit sales units were estimated to be costing more than double the value of pirate downloads in 2002, i wonder what that figure is now?

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