The Financial Times' overview of MIDEM paints a picture of, if not austerity, then at least restraint:
Although having hundreds of staff from an industry pop over to the South of France is, in itself, a bit of a cash burn-off, isn't it?
The FT's man with the Pina Colada, Ben Fenton, was asked to believe a thousand unlikely things before each good breakfast:
Five million songs a day? Really? That means 1.8 billion downloads of just the number one single, every year. Or every man, woman and child in the US 'stealing' a copy of a number one single every two months.
But worldwide, last week, the IFPI insisted that the ratio of legal:illegal downloads was 1:99. And that there were 1.7 billion legal downloads. Which means we're expected to believe that one per cent of all illegal downloads worldwide consists of American number one singles downloaded in the week they were number one.
That's just bollocks, isn't it? Another made-up number being thrown around. It's a pity Ben didn't ask him to prove his eye-catching claim. Or, indeed, where his licence agreements actually were. Do QTrax executives have jedi mind control skills or something?
[Part of MIDEM 2008]