After waging a fierce and concerted battled against peer-to-peer networks and people who have used them over the past decade, the music industry has a new enemy that’s threatening its economic model: social networks.
Apparently, social networks such as MySpace and BeBo have emerged as a new and popular way to distribute music – albeit by people who aren’t paying for it. The survey suggests piracy has rebounded because consumers still find music expensive and the fear of legal action has subsided.
John Enser, head of music with Olswang, which conducted the survey with Entertainment Media Research, told the Telegraph that:
“The music industry needs to embrace new opportunities being generated by the increasing popularity of music on social networking sites. Surfing these sites and discovering new music is widespread with the latest generation of online consumers but the process of actually purchasing the music needs to be made easier to encourage sales and develop this new market.”
Is it me but haven’t we heard this kind of statements before about the music industry and its need to encourage sales and leverage new markets? Of course, every time the music industry looks like it’s taking a step forward (i.e. growing iTunes sales, the shutdown of AllofMP3.com), it seems to take a step backward (new, higher royalty rates for Webcasters).
Update: Speaking of iTunes, Apple said today it has sold more than three billion songs.