Friday, May 16, 2003

MORE SALES DATA AHOY: It's funny, but we've read some reports about the latest set of figures released by the BPI which make it sound like the music industry is just short of giving up altogether - Forbes, for example, reports that "British music sales tumble 13% in Q1." Blimey. Erm... except things aren't quite as bleak as that would appear. If you visit the BPI site and check their figures, they report that there was a seven percent increase in the number of albums bought by consumers in the UK for the first quarter of 2003 compared with the same period last year. Of course, this positive message would largely destory the notion that people are so busy downloading music for free from that there internet that they're not buying records any more. So, instead, the BPI is pointing to the drop in shipping levels - which have indeed seen a slide, with 5% fewer record going from the labels to stores. But this, of course, is a meaningless guide to the shape of the music market - even allowing for the unattractive range of records released this winter, the drop can be accounted for by wider spasms in the economy leading many retailers to operate with a smaller number of albums in stock - the popular 'just in time' reordering procedure.
And, lest we start to wonder exactly why the BPI are all Boo-Hoo-Hoo, they bury the sales report in the middle of one of their spurious 'piracy reports' - which again tells stories which would make you hair fall out. Providing, of course, your hair accepts the very dodgy premise that the BPI can tell when a blank CD is being sold to have music burned onto it...

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