It’s a little difficult to take the British music industry’s lobbying seriously when their digital sales are up by about 15% since 2011 (depending on which source one looks at).

This works out as £383m. Bear in mind that that’s just digital sales, traditional albums on pressed plastic are still being sold, or at least that’s what I’ve read… A mere 69.4 million albums were sold last year in the UK. That’s more than one unit for every man, woman, and child in the UK. So the year before that over 80m units flew off the shelves, if 20% decline is to be believed.

So paid for digital downloads are actively growing at a respectable rate yet this is not enough. Resources are constantly being thrown at politicians to enact stricter censorship of the internet as apparently musicians are starving. I’m not suggesting they’re all relaxing in Jacuzzis full of brandy but to me it seems that their industry is doing considerably better than many others despite the abysmal state of the economy.

Interestingly though digital video game sales dwarf music sales. Wow, systems that go out of their way to make it easy for the customer to get something they actually want get results?

Colour me not very fucking surprised.

Brian Eno had some rather interesting comments on the matter:

I think the music industry initially was very slow to understand what was going on and very slow to realise that it had to change dramatically or else people would just take what they wanted for free. That’s really the issue – whether the music industry some how manages to retain some kind of control of what’s done or whether they make everybody so angry that they take everything for nothing. There are so many different solutions going on at the moment; it’s like an evolutionary struggle to see which ones are actually going to prove to be worthwhile.

The music industry will think I’m being very disloyal by saying this but what you see happening is that as soon as it turns out that there’s no money in one area people develop another one. For instance the astonishing thing about the last few years is that the number of live performances has multiplied by a huge factor. I don’t know what it is but there are so many more performances now because there’s so much more money in performing than in making records. So from the point of view of people who like hearing music it’s quite a blessing actually – there’s suddenly a live scene like there hasn’t been for years and years. I must say that of all the musicians I know I don’t really-, I don’t hear anyone either saying, “God I’m out of a job now because of the internet,” (I haven’t heard anybody say that, ever) and I haven’t heard anybody saying, “I wish those young people would stop listening to my music if they’re not prepared to pay for it.”

A little food for thought whenever the BPI or some other lobby group tries to tug at your heartstrings about piracy.

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