A few weeks ago, EMI warned the RIAA it was thinking of spending less on membership of industry bodies, and that perhaps there wasn't a need for a BPI and a IPFI. If this was a bargaining tactic, it might have worked: Music Week is reporting that the BPI is slashing subscription fees for major labels.
Only the majors, mind. Smaller labels will continue having to pay at their current levels, effectively subsidising the major's war on music customers.
Meanwhile, how bad are things for the music industry? Not that bad, according to an upbeat report from the BPI:
Despite the recent boom in digital music sales, CD albums remain hugely popular with around 95% of albums bought on physical formats. This ratio is expected to be even higher this week with shoppers buying CDs as Christmas gifts.
The final week before Christmas is the biggest by far for UK music sales, and early sales reports suggest that as people hit the shops to finish off their Christmas shopping this weekend, the week’s CD album sales could beat last week's tally and top the 8 million mark - a feat that has only been achieved a handful of times before.
In other words - people still go out and buy records. When something makes them want to - in this case Leona Lewis and a desire for cheaper gifts than last Christmas. Which would suggest that the decline in sales we've seen has been more about the record industry misjudging the market than evil digital ne'erdowells.