The music industry can breathe a sigh of relief today, since we now know for sure that piracy hasn’t destroyed the lives of every artist out there – as the copyright lobbyists would have us believe. In fact, the industry’s revenue went up in 2011 for the first time in a long time, as legal downloads finally began to compensate for the fall in CD sales.
CDs have been going out of fashion for well over a decade and despite the fact that there has been one illegal option or another for downloading music since the creation of Napster in1999, it’s only now, as we get well into the second decade of the the 21st century, that the music industry has finally caught up. Thanks to services like iTunes, Amazon and Spotify, people finally have outlets to pay for music legally that are as convenient, if not more so, than the illegal alternatives.
Until recently, the most convenient ways to get hold of music was with services like Limewire and years later BitTorrent and other P2P software. Now though if you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod, it’s simple to just login to iTunes and buy the song you want and listen to it – or stream it on Spotify and other similar services.
So how much did the music industry make? $16.5 billion, which is 0.3 per cent more than it raked in last year. This also corresponded with a big drop in people using P2P download software – 17 per cent in total, equating to a 26 per cent drop in activity on the services.
“At the beginning of the digital revolution it was common to say that digital was killing music,” Edgar Berger, chief executive of the international arm of Sony Music Entertainment, said while speaking with the NYTimes. “The reality is that digital is saving music.”
We’ve said it a hundred times here before and finally it seems like the music industry and movie industry is beginning to listen – you don’t combat a competitive service, legal or not, by banning its usage, you provide a better alternative.