How To Kill The Music Industry
Written by Jens Roland on February 27, 2009
During The Pirate Bay trial, the music industry placed the blame for the decline in their revenues squarely on the shoulders of file-sharers. Their logic is clearly flawed, but it could sway the verdict if no alternative explanation is presented. So, if piracy isn’t to blame, then what is *actually* killing the music industry?
According to Per Sundin, CEO of Universal Music, the decline in music revenues in the past 8 years can be fully attributed to (read: blamed on) illegal file sharing. If this were actually true, many of us might even respect his decision to go after pirates as fiercely as the music industry is doing right now. However, the past 8 years have seen a lot more changes in the landscape of home entertainment than Per Sundin would like to admit, and some of those changes have had a massive impact on music profitability — much more so than any amount of piracy.
Let us refresh our memories and take a look at what actually happened during and just before the past 8 years:
1. First, the explosive rise of computer and console gaming. This competitive ‘third element’ has appeared in the entertainment landscape, beaten both music and movies to the curb and taken a huge cut out of the music industry’s revenues. Consumers don’t have infinitely-deep pockets, and billions of ‘recreation dollars’ that used to go almost exclusively to music, are now going into gaming....