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Australian Record Industry Association: “The sky is green – how dare you question us?”

Last week the ARIA relased the results of a survey that claimed file sharing is killing the Australiam music industry. There were questions:

    Music industry analyst Phil Tripp sent in a long list of queries last week, most of which I thought merited answers. I sent most of them across to ARIA last Friday and requested a reply by today.

    Yesterday, ARIA sent me a reply. It states: “Adrian Goldsmith from Quantum Market Research, who undertook the research on illegal music for ARIA, has compiled this statement in response to the various questions you refer to. I (the contact person for ARIA whom I wrote to) have been requested by ARIA management to forward this statement on to those media seeking clarification on the questions raised and if you wish to pursue, to contact Adrian Goldsmith at QMR.”

    The statement from Goldsmith says: “I refer to the questions forwarded to ARIA in relation to the research methodology. These questions were initially sent to us by Phil Tripp and we have responded to him in the following terms.

    “As mentioned in the media briefing, Quantum Market Research is a reputable, long-standing and highly successful independent market research consultancy. Our research has been at the forefront of public and private enterprise decision-making for more than 30 years and we are therefore angered by the approach you’ve taken to attack the research and in the process, potentially damage our reputation – and with such a poorly informed perspective at its foundation.

    “Quantum is more than comfortable with the methodology and content of the study, and our interpretation of the research findings. The findings accurately reflect the views of the Australian population at the time of the study and can be relied upon to give a snapshot of the current state of CD burning and file-sharing activities amongst 10+ year olds. I reiterate that all of the data reported and used by ARIA directly reflects the answers provided by respondents to Quantum’s survey.

    “Quantum is accredited under the Market Research Society of Australia’s interviewer quality control scheme and is audited annually under this scheme. The scheme sets guidelines and standards for the conduct of interviewing to which we must adhere. All project management staff are members of the industry professional body and as such, are bound by a Code of Professional Behaviour which governs research conduct and the rights and responsibilities of researchers and respondents alike.

    “Many of the queries you raise appear to be related to the absence of particular information (an industry issue) rather than the quality of the ARIA research per se. Not every question that ARIA would have liked to ask could be asked due to limitations on the length of interview.” [Sydney Morning Herald]

Methinks ARIA and Quantum doth protest too much. See the story link for the list of questions asked re the survey. They are perfectly reasonable and certainly germane to the conclusions drawn by the ARIA and Quantum.

Here’s one example:

    8. According to the figures 1.8 million Australians have illegitimately downloaded music files via file sharing services last month, and 3.5 million Australians have used these services over time. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development report into broadband says there are only 300,000 broadband users in Australia, and not all of them download music. If say (conservatively) half the broadband users download music, your totals suggest the other 3.35 million downloaders use dial up services. According to your analysis, that means that some 96 percent of downloaders use dial-up services to download music. How do you reconcile this figure with your stated figure of 72 percent of downloaders using dial-up services? With respect, in practice, it is virtually impossible to download music without a broadband connection, so how do you reconcile these two figures with the actual incidence of downloading from a dial-up service?

“Um, this one goes to 11!”

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected], Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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