February 01, 2003
3 Billion Downloads of Music a Month: That's a Lot of Music!

Salon has a piece today called, "Embrace File Sharing or Die" written by John Snyder, president of Artist House Records, and his son Ben, of Gas Marketing/Management, a grassroots marketing company that serves the music industry.

About Eldred and copyright: "This is a clear case of a multinational conglomerate using its political muscle to the disadvantage of everyone but itself. So, instead of creating new content and allowing long-standing laws to work, the entertainment business frantically seeks to manipulate the process to its own ends. And it does this with the obsequiousness of penurious politicians and a supinely acquiescent Supreme Court. That is the best the establishment has to offer, and it has nothing to do with progress or the good of the society."

They call the entertainment industry on the current mess with radio and homogenization of content. They note the rising prices of CD's, bad economy and other better ways to get entertainment bang for the buck as reasons why CD sales have dropped and that EBay and Amazon have expanded their online businesses by paying attention and working with the internet, not against it, which the RIAA could learn from.

They also note that the music business is not like the movie business, and that the, "Music companies are more egregious in their abuse of consumers than the movie companies. Consumers don't hate movie companies, but they do hate record companies." They think that DRM will add fuel to this fire, and add the Azoz assessment of RIAA statistics about the downturn of CD sales is correct, and think the RIAA is misinterpreting their own data. The Snyders even go so far as to say that the music industry is responsible for the predicament they find themselves in currently. And media company consolidation does help, adding confusion to this business, with single companies involved in providing internet services used to download music they sometimes produce, while creating hardware to download and burn cds.

The Snyders see a lot of opportunity, "One other word about the 3 billion music downloads each month: That's a lot of music. There aren't 3 billion songs. Music has become fungible. People are going through it faster than toilet paper. Never in the history of the world has there been more music in the air and never have more people listened to music. Out of this incredible desire and need for music, surely some good must come. I think more opportunity than ever is available to the musician and songwriter, and the record company too. They just have to create new ways to deal with this opportunity, and it won't be by the old rules.... With respect to the question of downloaded music, NARAS should embrace new technologies, be the voice of reasoned analysis, and act as an arbiter to reconcile the conflicting views of the various parties involved."

This was written in response to a discussion at a board meeting of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). John Snyder is a member of the New York Board of Governors of NARAS.

Posted by Mary Hodder at February 01, 2003 09:59 AM
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