Monday, November 04, 2002

NUMBER CRUNCHING: BBC News online headlines a report "online music sales plummet" and then kicks in with the expected "increasing popularity of CD copying and illegal song-swapping over the internet" is to blame.
Hang on a moment, though. The "plummet" is supposed to be 25%, but the survey the report is based on - by ComScore networks - seems to concentrate on American music sales only. And it doesn't count units sold, but total value of sales - still a healthy USD545. Now, forgive us if we're being a bit dense, but hasn't the number of records sold collapsed anyway? So why would you expect online sales to not see a fall at the same time as offline sales fall? Doubtless Hilary and her friends would argue that the fall is down to CD burning and the usual boogermen, but as we've said before - so many times, you're probably sick of us - you'd expect a market offering only rubbish to see a decline anyway, and at a time when a difficult economy has driven many areas to cost cutting, the total value of sales may be driven further down by price offers. Furthermore, if downloading and piracy is really to blame for the slump in online music sales, how come the similarly-challenged online DVD market has seen - on ComScores own figures - a rise in value of sales? Could it be that upswing in spending on movies online is the main reason for the fall in music sales?

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