Tuesday, April 21, 2009

EMI miss point of survey, again

There are reasons for approaching the survey suggesting that people who take music for free off the internet also buy lots of music with a degree of caution: it's a fairly small sample, much of the explanation for how the study works is in Norwegian; you might posit that nobody wants to be seen as a freeloader and, thus, people who download for free might overstate their purchasing on other occasions.

EMI, though, have decided to rubbish its findings by a more direct route of both misrepresenting and misunderstanding it at the same time:

EMI's Bjørn Rogstad told Aftenposten that the results make it seem like free downloads stimulate pay downloads, but there's no way to know for sure. "There is one thing we are not going away, and it is the consumption of music increases, while revenue declines. It can not be explained in any way other than that the illegal downloading is over the legal sale of music," Rogstad said.

But the survey doesn't make the suggestion that free stimulates paid - it merely tabulates that people who take some tracks will tend to be ten times more likely to be buying others.

And isn't Rogstad's open-minded assumption that consumption rising, revenue falling can only be explained by illegal activity, rather than a fundamental shift in how the market works and a drop in the per unit value of a tune.

"Here" they said "is some evidence that the people you deride as thieves are actually your best customers." And EMI couldn't even bring themselves to think what that might mean, and instead wailed about piracy.