A look at the British recording industry from the Independent:
- But many believe the industry is exaggerating the effects of piracy to wring concessions from the authorities and deflect attention from its inability to compete.
The boom in sales of DVDs and computer games is eating into the disposable income of consumers who balk at paying up to £15 for a chart-topping CD.
And research in America shows that those who take advantage of internet piracy also buy music legitimately. A study by Forrester Research shows that about 85 per cent of CDs are sold to people who download tracks up to eight times a month.
Others accuse the record companies of being too stuck in their ways and point to the success of smaller operations such as Sanctuary Group, whose artists range from Dolly Parton to the Strokes, and Independiente, home, among others, to Travis, So Solid Crew and Paul Weller.
Sanctuary, which saw its profits rise by 26 per cent to £10.3m last year, is credited with breaking the mould of record company management by acting as agent, promoter, manufacturer, distributor and merchandiser for all its artists. Managers at Independiente believe that the focus on counterfeiting is symptomatic of a lack of willingness to change that could be the death knell of the biggest companies.
Mark Richardson, the managing director, said: “There is nothing wrong with the health of the British music industry, it is the record industry that is in trouble. It is wrong to focus on those little plastic discs as being music. All that does is turn music into protectionism and cost-cutting. Instead we have to diversify into music broadcasting, DVDs and other digital technologies. We’ve got to show people that there is something which is worth them spending their money on.”
2002: Total value sales: £1,200m
The Top Five bestsellers:
1 Robbie Williams Escapology
2 Pink M!ssunderstood
3 Enrique Iglesias Escape
4 Coldplay Rush of Blood to the Head
5 Blue One Love