27 October 2005

CRIA Me a River

According to the Globe and Mail,
Canada's recording industry reported its worst financial showing in six years in 2003 with illegal downloading – never exactly music to the sector's ears – the likely culprit for plunging sales and dropping profits, Statistics Canada said Wednesday. In the year, the government agency said, the Canadian sound recording industry reported revenue of $708.7-million. That was down 17.7 per cent from 2000.
Startling news, no? The venerable Statscan - objective, armed with numbers and statistics and quantitative, scientific stuff like that - providing objective verification of what the Canadian Recording Industry Association has been saying for years: illegal downloading by all those pirates are killing their industry. After all, who can argue with objective statistics?

You have to go all the way down to paragraph nine in the article to discover this footnote to the whole thing: "In 2003, recording companies issued 5,619 new releases, down from 6,654 in 2000." Pulling out the old calculator (well, actually, using Google to do the calculation), we find that the number of new releases declined 15.5% over the same period.

Let's see, new releases down by 15.5%, corresponding to a revenue decline of nearly 18%, during a period of time that saw a signficant rise in spending for competing media: "Statscan said the decline in consumer spending may have also reflected increased competition from other media, such as DVDs and cell phones." Doesn't take an MBA to figure this one out.

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