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The Graphs the Record Companies Don't Want You to See

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LONDON (Rixstep) -- The record companies would rather you didn't see or know of these graphs. They come from the respected London Times, the 'BBC' of printed media. They prove yet again that recording artists are not tanking in the digital age. They're winning. And handsomely at that.

Which is exactly what Roger Wallis told the court in the trial of The Pirate Bay: revenues to record companies are down but revenues to artists are way up. Wallis also challenged the record companies, noting they were fully aware of this but of course keeping it a secret.

To which plaintiff solicitor Peter 'Paper Tiger' Danowsky replied with the classic:

'But we have our own experts and they know better!'

It's doubtful Danowsky's experts ever knew anything at all. And after this Times publication it's doubtful they'll ever have anything to say again.

The graphs show how revenues are on a slight incline and how they're shifting consistently to the artists themselves.

A comment in the thread for the followup by the Telegraph says it all.

This is what I've been saying all along. The only reason artists needed major labels was because of their powerful distribution channels, which are now obsolete because of file sharing.

If artists can promote their live shows by getting their music distributed to a massively larger fan base through file sharing, they can press and sell their own CDs at shows.

The only reason file sharing is illegal is because the artists are signed up to record labels. Tear up those contracts, or don't sign up for them in the first place, and it's perfectly legal and sensible for the bands to cut out the middle men and reach an infinitely large audience over the Internet.

In a few years we will probably see unsigned bands who can fill out Wembley Stadium 10 nights running because they have built their fan base from free file sharing.

The record companies have been in the business of 1) selling physical copy which no one wants anymore; and 2) promoting their artists - something the artists can do much more effectively today themselves. The record companies are obsolete and they know it.

See Also
Times Labs Blog: Do music artists fare better in a world with illegal file-sharing?

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