Record Industry Economics

Posted By: Dr. Frugal in Economics on 10/05/2007 at 05:44:48

Dear Record Industry,

I am not an economist. I am a fan of music though and, from what I am told by friends and co-workers, a pretty savvy businessman. I say that not to be arrogant but simply so that you might listen to the single paragraph of advice I have for you.

Your profits are slumping because no one is buying CDs. People download songs illegally. Why would they do this· Let me tell you--because quite literally 99.8% of the CDs you put out have, at best, 2 good songs. You are not making every effort to put out a quality product. When file sharing first got started, I used to download songs of new artists and if I liked the song *gasp* I would buy the CD. That's probably why I have about 1300 CDs organized into booklets in my office. Here's the odd thing--the music I was buying was old. It was buying Houses of the Holy or Sticky Fingers. And I was buying them because I had enough faith in both the band and producer to give their whole CD a shot.

But then I got burned. I bought an Eagle Eye Cherry CD in 1998 and it was just terrible. I had downloaded (illegally) Save Tonight, liked it, and bought the CD. But it sucked. Guess what--I then bought the New Radicals album after liking my illegal download of You Get What You Give--and it sucked.

I have...maybe 300 albums that totally suck that I wouldn't be able to sell for more than $1 yet I paid $13 for them because I trusted you to put out a good product. You didn't. I can assure you, gentile corporations, that while some people would despicably steal an entire CD from you, the vast, vast majority would find it easier to pay you $7 (note it's $7 and not $13) for a good, 15-track album than to try to find all the songs online.

Maybe you're just too busy suing us to do invest time in the music. But that's your fault.

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