Sunday, March 27, 2011

Record Labels Claim They Lost $75 Trillion To Piracy

Yes, you read the headline correctly. When asked to estimate the damages they incurred in their suit against file-sharing service Limewire, the major record labels claimed they lost $400 billion (with a "B") on the low end, to $75 trillion (with a "T") on the high end. This is what they estimate they've lost to piracy in the 10 years of its existence.

OK, let's look at how incredibly grossly inflated those figures are. First of all, $75 trillion is more than the GDP of the entire world, which was only $59.62 trillion when last calculated in 2008 (you can bet it hasn't gone up since then).

Now let's look at the low end of $400 billion. In 2010 the world-wide revenue from recorded music was $35.1 billion, and the US portion of that was $12.6 billion, according to eMarketer:Global Music. And how does that add up to $400 billion? Even over 10 years at a generous 20% loss, it still only adds up to $25 billion. And recent figures by the NPD group found that only 16% of Limewire users downloaded music at it's peak, and the figure in later years was closer to 9%. Regardless which figure you go with, the numbers thrown out by the labels are completely absurd.

Luckily, the judge saw through the farce and called it like it is - ridiculous.

This is the problem with the music business today. It's all about the money. If record labels and the conglomerates that own them would concentrate more on the music than the accumulation of green, we'd have a much healthier business with more quality music and lots more fans that want to buy it. Fat chance of that happening.

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...