Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Just how relevant is the album format in 2015?

Published this article on The Conversation which focuses on Adele's new release '25' and the recent 2015 Mercury Music Prize.

The article considers the notion that music listening is becoming more passive, that albums are getting shorter, and that the album format may very well be encouraging music piracy.

Check it out.

Tweets @musicpiracyguy

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The Business Of Music-Streaming Services: How Deals With Record Labels And Publishers Are Made

Stumbled upon this piece from Tech Times recently which explores music streaming services in some detail.

Though it fails to come to any real conclusions, it offers a neat summary of various aspects of subscription services including how it works differently for established and emerging artists - something I have discussed many times on this blog.

Notably, it draws from academic research (albeit fixated on one study).

Have a peek.

Tweets @musicpiracyguy

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Is Spotify good or bad?

Well that depends on who you ask.

Certainly, if you look at this new working paper from Economists Aguiar and Waldfogel, released today, Spotify both reduces legal and illegal music consumption.

The effect is a 'revenue neutral' outcome for the industry.

Specifically, the authors highlight that 137 streams on Spotify reduces sales by 1 unit.

Find a better rundown here.

Tweets @musicpiracyguy


Aguiar, L. and Waldfogel, J. (2015). Streaming Reaches Flood Stage: Does Spotify Stimulate or Depress Music Sales? (Working paper 21653). Retrieved from The National Bureau of Economic Research website: http://www.nber.org/papers/121653

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Revisiting the carrot versus the stick, from a global perspective

In this new report from the team at TechDirt, including Mike Masnick (who features frequently on this blog), the recurring question over whether the best way to curb digital piracy is with punitive measures or not takes centre stage.

Uniquely, the authors adopt a case study approach, focusing on France, Sweden, UK, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand - countries which have brought new anti-piracy laws into effect in the recent past.

Overwhelmingly, the conclusion is that anti-piracy laws lead to short-term success at best, and are costly to implement. Or, put another way, the carrot is the way to go in the shape of business innovation, including improved legal alternatives to digital piracy.

The report is short and easy to grasp, presented in a sensible way which is simple to navigate.

It is, however, lacking details of the research which has been reviewed - this is surprising.

Nonetheless, it comes recommended.

Tweets @musicpiracyguy

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Movie Piracy vs. Music Piracy

Much has been said on this blog about the difference between music and movie piracy. Here's another entry, bringing us bang up to date.

Cox and Collins (2014) find that prolific music pirates typically demonstrate a greater propensity to substitute legal content for illegal content, whereas heavy movie downloaders are more willing to pay for legal alternatives.

Why might this be the case? Well for one thing, movie pirates are deterred more by an awareness of the negative effects of piracy on the film industry.

This is interesting, and might stem from the greater transparency with the film industry in terms of box office stats and the increased engagement of movie insiders in the public domain. The music industry is not known for its transparency.

Tweeps @musicpiracyguy


Cox, J. and Collins, A. (2014). Sailing in the same ship? Differences in factors motivating piracy of music and movie content. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 50, 70-76.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Recommended book: The SAGE Handbook of Popular Music

Love you, Sage.

Check out this new text, The Sage Handbook of Popular Music, which you ought to be able to obtain from your finest local library.

It's a monster, with 35 chapters from 36 Popular Music scholars. And, it's great.

Specific to this blog, there's much discussion on digital music trends, with Sinnreich (2015) for example, debunking the myth that piracy hit the music industry by surprise. Other chapters address issues concerning copyright, copying, movie soundtracks, live music, etc.

Everything you might except, then some - including case studies of Jay-Z, Amanda Palmer, Radiohead, and all of the usual suspects.

It comes highly recommend specifically because it is extremely wide-reaching, but self-contained, given the volume of chapters included. For that reason, you might dive in to read about one particular topic, but end up learning all about something else entirely.

Throw in a few beers and some great music, and you have yourselves as good a night-in as you can have in 2015.

Twankers @musicpiracyblog


Bennett, A. and Waksman, S. (Eds.) (2015). The SAGE Handbook of Popular Music. London, England: Sage.

Sinnreich, A. (2015). Music Cartels and the Demateriailzation of Power. In A. Bennett and Waksman, S. (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Popular Music (pp. 613-628). London, England: Sage.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Why young people engage in music piracy

Bonneville-Roussy et al. (2013), drawing from a huge dataset involving over 250,000 participants, find that the degree of importance attributed to music declines with age.

That is not to say that older people do not care about music, but young people listen to music far more than do middle-age adults, and young people listen to music in a wider variety of contexts.

Given music piracy research finds young people as principally involved in music piracy, perhaps it can be simply accounted for by the fact that they listen to more music?

Tweats @musicpiracyguy


Bonneville-Roussy, A., Rentfrow, P.J., Xu, M.K. and Potter, J. (2013). Music through the ages: trends in musical engagement and preferences from adolescence through middle adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105(4), 703-717.