I’m honored to see that the folks at the RIAA have taken the time to read our Sky is Rising report. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to like hearing the news that the wider music industry is actually thriving — because it doesn’t work well with their legislative strategy (and, remember, the RIAA’s main focus is on passing new legislation to help legacy gatekeeper record labels — not in helping artists). And, this is understandable. As we detailed in the report, as well as in my talk at Midem, a popular music industry conference, the real story of the report is that the market is thriving for artists and consumers, but is much more challenging for big, lumbering legacy players. That would basically be the RIAA’s membership.
Either way, I have to take issue with some of the RIAA’s “criticisms” of the report, because they’re pretty laughable.
The one problem? The study is highly misleading and doesn’t present an accurate or complete view of what has been really occurring in the United States in recent years.
Want proof? Instead of looking at actual sales data that is widely available, the paper looks at a global sales metric that includes a much wider range of industries outside of music.
Actually, people should read the full report for themselves, where they’ll see that we looked at a variety of different data sources to see what the data said, and noted the various caveats with each of them. Oh, and that “global sales metric” that the RIAA complains about? That’s directly from the IFPI — the sister organization of the RIAA, who basically represents the RIAA’s views around the world. If the RIAA does not like the IFPI’s own numbers, perhaps it should have a talk within its own organization.
Moreover, we see real world examples that consistently show the importance of the “traditional” metrics for working artists. For example, although the industry has embraced the concept of broadening revenue platforms, recent work by the Future of Music Coalition show that few artists are benefitting significantly from these complementary revenue sources…