Today's Music News
Piracy still prevailing
Figures show 95% of all music downloads are illegal16 January 2009 - Despite the dominance of iTunes, the body representing the global recording industry, the IFPI, says 95% of all music downloads are sourced unlawfully.
Matt Philips from the BPI, which represents the music industry here in the UK, spoke about the challenges they face.
He told 6 Music: “Essentially what the numbers released yesterday show is that, the sales that we are making online through licensed legitimate platforms, are certainly growing impressively - 25% last year - but the fact is we still have a very high rate of unlawful downloading - 95%.
“Clearly, for future investment in music and the continued innovation in developing new legal services to continue, then that’s something that we have to address.”
Despite efforts to cull piracy, with warning letters being sent out by Internet Service Providers, he claimed the figures have not changed: “It has been that figure for some time now and of course as the legal market has grown we’ve also found that illegal downloading has increased too.”
The internet, including sites such as Myspace, Last Fm and Youtube, have become a key tool for bands to get their music into the wider market place.
"There is very much a double edged sword there because the internet has enabled people to get music for free."
Matt Philips from the BPI
Philips explained that while the digital revolution has had a positive impact, it has been the catalyst for the rise of music piracy.
He told 6 Music: “The internet provides a wonderful opportunity to take your music to a wider audience in the way that you never could through radio or record store.
“There is very much a double edged sword there because the internet has enabled people to get music for free, and that has a dramatic negative impact on people in the long term.”
On the whole, Philips said it’s not good for the music industry because he reckons the mammoth illegal download market stops the labels from pouring funding into bands.
“Some 200 million pounds a year is invested by the music industry, the recording industry specifically, in new bands,” he said. “Artists still need that financial support, especially so early on in their careers.”