Warner Music Group Loses A Whole Lot Of Money

Warner Music Group is losing a lot of money, according to Reuters. The company said in a statement:

“This (revenue) decline was driven by a challenging recorded music industry environment as the shift in consumption patterns from physical sales to new forms of digital music continues,” the company said in a statement. “Declines in our physical … revenue were only partially offset by increases in music publishing and digital recorded music revenue.”

So, shoppers, why is that? Crappy music? DRM? Is music too expensive? Do you not enjoy music anymore? Are you broke? Are you buying games for the Wii instead of a CD? Are you a bunch of pirates? Avast.

Solve this mystery for us, we’re all ears.

UPDATE 1-Warner Music quarterly loss widens [Reuters]
Warner Music Group Corp. Reports Third-Quarter Results For The Period Ended June 30, 2007 [WMG]

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  1. guymandude says:

    Who wants to by crippleware? Send the RIAA and like minded stooges a message…. STOP BUYING THEIR CRAP!
    Historically Boycotts are extremely effective. Hit em where it hertz… in the wallet. They WILL get the message sooner or later(although I’m betting its later).

  2. boandmichele says:

    yarrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

  3. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    This is how my….friend….does things.

    Most new music he isn’t interested in, but loves music. What he does is, find an artist he is interested in, download an album or two. He is anal about mp3 compression quality, and most pirated music isn’t up to his standard. If he likes the album after listening to it for a few months, he will actually purchase the CD for his collection (and for a higher quality rip). Of course, he goes and buys it off of eBay for dirt cheap. So I…he….sees the problem for the record industry a combo of unexciting new releases, pirating, and cheap as hell resale of older albums on eBay.

  4. mikedt says:

    It could also be shear array of entertainment options people have to spend their money on. When I was in college and spent a tidy sum on vinyl (yeah I’m old), I didn’t have dvds, video games, cell phone bills, highspeed internet and countless other things sucking up my money and/or leisure hours.

    We had music and we bought and listened to a lot of it.

    Now that I’m older and have money I buy a fair amount of music but it’s the older stuff back catalog stuff. But from talking to my contemporaries they pretty much gave up buying music when they got married.

  5. GreatMoose says:

    The problem is boycotts do NOT work on record companies, because they can simply choose to ignore the real reason for the boycott and blame all dwindling (sp?) sales on the evil “pirates”. Aaarg. It must be nice to have a scapegoat for those times when your entire business model has failed.

  6. davebg5 says:

    Part of the problem for the record industry is that they steadfastly refuse to give the consumer what they want…high quality sound, via digital downloads and unencumbered by DRM schemes that deprive me of my legal, fair use rights.

    The other part of the problem is that the lack of quality music put out by the recording industry is finally catching up with them. I no longer have to purchase an entire CD for $16+ just to get the one or two decent songs on the album. Digital downloads have re-energized the market for singles…at the expense of full albums.

  7. The Bigger Unit says:

    I’m poor, they’re still rich (execs and artists I’d be interested in), so it’s “Shiver me timbers” for me.

    I don’t lose sleep over it.

  8. Zagroseckt says:

    1. Mainstream DRM. i have sevrel mp3 players and use them interchangably depinding on what i’m doing

    i may use my phones mp3 plaer i may use my audible otis or i may use somthing els.
    MP3 is a standerd without drm should stay that way.

    2. i pay 99 cents for a track from an online place and i do buy them genrily i use napster as it works with my phone and otis both.
    but i dont like the lack of a HIGH bitrate track.
    when i pay 99 cents for the song i wan acces to the uncompresed song if i want it.

    3. They keep messing up the sound by rasing the volume of instermints in the tracks
    Amping up the volume tends to kill the true vibe of the music and kills things like high snars or a true thump in the drum by dedning them. by the time you get the drumtrack and the spots where the artist who orginaly mixed the track to there proper level the rest of the music is blering out at max volume and ruins it for me.

    4. the recording indestry is just plain pissing me off last few years and i’ve kind of held back. ben sticking to smaller groups and lables only buying the tracks i truly like alot. and only if i cant find them eather via ebay or a direct band supporting site.
    I don’t wana buy from a group of people who constintly B**** about the fact there custimers are all criminals and none of them can be trusted. Well Music indestry that line works both ways treat me like a readheaded stepchild with cliptomainea and i will treat you like the school bully and stay the f. away from you. :)

  9. brianary says:

    Artificial scarcity will always lose eventually.

    Digital Rights “Management” (like Guantanimo is Human Rights “Management”) is capricious, arbitrary, and ultimately ineffective.

    Treat your customers like criminals, and see what kind of loyalty that inspires.

  10. harumph says:

    in the words of jello biafra: “could it be you put out one too many lousy records?”
    the quality of music being put out by bands across the spectrum is terrible, underground and indie music is no exception either. i lay most of the blame there. fix that and then we can talk about digital hurting the industry. i think there is no difference between this argument and the home taping argument of 25-30 years ago. don’t tell me that you are getting a perfect copy of anything by downloading it. most of that stuff is of such a low bitrate as to be unlistenable.

  11. MENDOZA!!!!! says:

    $.99 for the one song I do want to hear is better than $16.99 for all of them on the album.

    And most of the musicians I like ain;t working for Time Warner

  12. Cowboys_fan says:

    Why would I pay when I can get it free? Ask most any musician and they’ll say its about the music, not the money. We’ve been playing music since time began basically, why all of a sudden should,ve it become a profit industry in the 1900′s. The producers get rich, the musicians get screwed, and we all pay for it. Music should be free, always.

  13. bnosach says:

    I think DRM is the stupidest thing I’ve experienced. That alone ruined music industry for me.

  14. Kaien says:

    Most modern music doesn’t do it for me. I don’t even touch the stuff. I’m not that old yet, but I still prefer my back catalog and enjoy the music I have. The only new music I really hear are things from imported games and new scores from movies + games.
    However, I don’t always enjoy hearing them repeated, and I just simply move on to other things.

    I haven’t bought a CD since the 90s, and I doubt that’d change, since I’d rather just remix whatever new music I buy online, whenever they structure that stuff out (No DRM and higher quality).

    Btw, I won’t lose sleep over their failing business model. If they are losing alot of money, they are likely losing jobs. That isn’t my fault though, it is the higher execs’ fault.
    This is like a company refusing to change with the times, continuing to make coach wagons instead of automobiles; it isn’t our fault if they are losing money fast.

    People wouldn’t mind buying music, but not at the expense of paying $16 for 1 song that they can’t even own due to DRM.
    It is becoming very problematic that most things we’re starting to buy aren’t even ours, but rather “leased” or “licensed”.

    WMG didn’t want to adapt, so they are suffering the consequences. However, they’ll just scapegoat pirates as the problem, when they’ve existed for years and never truly harm the industry.

  15. ReccaSquirrel says:

    The music I’ve been buying has either been directly from the artist or from Studios outside the RIAA. I have long given up on the music that makes it onto the radio.

  16. brianary says:

    Tangentially, I’ve found a number of unsigned artists lately through podcasts such as NPR’s Open Mic, Boston Unsigned, BBC Radio 1′s Best of Unsigned, and others.

    There’s a truly vast amount of music out there, beyond just the stuff the RIAA deigns to patronize.

  17. boandmichele says:

    this reminds me of the southpark episode when they download music, and the FBI raids the house instantly. then the montage of lars, britney, and master p, not being able to buy islands and private jets and such.

    lol yarrrr indeed.

  18. Cowboys_fan says:

    @harumph: @AlteredBeast: You guys aren’t looking in the right places, I can find quality rips where wouldn’t know the difference.

  19. ChicagoAndy says:

    I think there’s a few things going on here.

    1) Crapware. People don’t want it.
    2) Crapmusic. The labels have attempted to mainstream a few bands, while the public really wants to hear something different. Personally, I can’t stand the same repetitive playlists I hear on most radio stations, so I don’t listen. I want something different, but unless I’m willing to dive into the indy-scene, I simply won’t find it.
    3) Demographics. The baby boomers are getting older, and are at that point in their lives where they’re just not interested in buying music.
    4) Wii,Internet,Movie,Books, CableTV – all these have more bang for the buck. Why pay $20 for a CD when $25 will buy me a DVD, $35 will buy a game, or I can waste time online for free?

  20. harumph says:

    @Cowboys_fan: that may be true but i still say the majority of what is being produced is utter crap anyway.

  21. JohnMc says:

    I second cassifras’s observation on the price structure. The major record labels have gotten used to cramming 15-20 songs on a CD of which only 2-3 are production quality. The rest were just scrapings that came off the sound room floor. So why spend $20 bucks for the CD when you can buy the 3 songs for $3 bucks?

    Well Duh!

  22. motoraway says:

    While you cannot discount the continued growth of digital sharing/sales, the truth of the matter is that consumers are being presented with flavor of the month artists with the sole purpose of releasing “hits” until they next trend has begun. The labels need to wake up and realize they need to groom and work with artists allowing them to build an audience and establish themselves, instead of putting together cookie cutter bands that we will all
    Soon forget within months anyhow. This is the problem facing the industry, not digital sharing and purchasing.

  23. jrembold says:

    probably because they’re used to selling an over priced product and aren’t making rediculous profits anymore. they shouldn’t have been making that much money in the first place.

  24. supra606 says:

    I don’t know what they expected to happen when they decided to start intimidating, extorting money from, and otherwise taking advantage of the general public. Despite the propaganda the music cartels are spewing, people can see what is really going on. The boycott of the RIAA (and it international counterparts) and their products is the public’s way of saying that it’s had enough and that just because a company and its lobbyists are in bed with the government doesn’t mean that the citizens of that government don’t see through it. Their draconian business model is well on its way to extinction because people are voting with their dollars. This is simply an uplifting example of one instance where the will of the people is winning out.

  25. STrRedWolf says:

    DRM’ed music online for cheap, but folks want to pay for non-DRM’ed music, plus want to choose their own tracks. Over half the tracks on the CD are just crap, not worth the price! There’s only a select few CD’s I’ll buy because of that.

  26. GreatMoose says:

    One thing that really bothers me (and nobody has been able to explain it), is the fact that 99% of the time, I can buy the DVD of a movie for less than half the price of said movie’s soundtrack CD. Does that make ANY kind of sense?

    My sister-in-law works for a record company, and I posed this question to her. She said something about production costs of the cd being the reason the price was so high. I countered with the fact that the movie cost something like $80 million dollars to make, verses the CD which was something like $400,000. She was stumped. I felt bad for her, cause she’s been kind of brainwashed by her employer to not recognize the problems the industry has.

  27. Art Vandelay says:

    I’m glad they’re losing money. Maybe they’ll learn to make better music at a reasonable price.

  28. mph says:

    Definitely going to have to agree that we are in a singles-driven culture, and there are too many cheaper means, both legal and not, of getting those 2 or 3 good songs without buying a whole album.

    I definitely think that we are moving towards a world where live music, not recorded ones, will be the major source of revenue for artists. Good for musicians like Dave Matthews and Phish, not so good for the Britneys and Justins of the world (unless record companies can get people to start paying for videos)

  29. axiomatic says:

    Yeah, I too refuse to buy DRM’d crippleware. I bought some of the DRM free EMI tracks though.

    I’m supporting my local Houston, TX music scene now. It’s actually great to see my money go exclusively to a up and coming band.

    It’s great to not feel “dirty” about the way I participate in music again.

    I will NOT change this trend until there is no longer an RIAA.

    Look RIAA, it goes like this: You got too drunk on profits and you are vomiting all over the music party, and you screwed the bands cat!. Take your girlfriend the MPAA with you, you are here by BANNED from future music “keggers.”

  30. mph says:

    @GreatMoose: I think that would be because DVD sales are for the most part pure profit- the money has hopefully been made and costs recouped after a theatrical release.

    CD’s don’t have that option.

  31. dbeahn says:

    What did they think would happen when they started suing their fan base, and started trying to kill internet radio?

    What did they think would happen when they kept releasing bubblegum crap with only one or 2 good songs per CD?

    The first CD I’ve been willing to buy in over 2 years? The soundtrack for “I now pronounce you Chuck and Larry”. Except they didn’t release a soundtrack.

    Oh well, guess I just won’t buy any CDs this year, since they’re all a rip off as far as the number of good songs per CD. Not to mention that the profits from their sales will go directly to suing people that don’t even own computers…

  32. shoegazer says:

    Interestingly, they didn’t mention piracy explicitly, yet everyone here jumps all over that angle. Are we doing their propaganda for them?

    I don’t consider myself a music pirate yet (once in a blue moon) buy cheap music off a russian download site. Hey Warner, BMG and all the big label artists: here’s the world’s smallest violin: <>==#

  33. motoraway says:

    @The Bigger Unit:
    I’d suggest using google to seach for an article by Steve Albini (Nirvana producer, Bush producer, etc) on the Negativland website (originally from MRR or Punk Planet) entitled “The Problem With Music”. Most of the artists are not rich. It’s a wonderful read for anyone interested in the money side of the artists.

  34. TheHeartless says:

    Crappy music. I buy music from my favorite bands, and most of them are from overseas. None of the worthless stuff that Warner signs. Stop signing generic bands that all sound the same (none of which is good by the way) and you’ll get me back as a customer. It’s not even a matter of downloading legally or illegally, it’s a matter of offering something worth consuming at all.

  35. pestie says:

    If I really feel the need to pay for mainstream music, which is exceedingly rare, I will buy used CD’s on eBay. The RIAA can die in a fire for all I care.

  36. Little Miss Moneybags says:

    I haven’t bought a CD since the advent of Napster almost 10 years ago. In fact, I’ve digitized all my CDs and tossed them or sold them for #2 on Half.com. I used to download a lot of music but I’ve mostly quit…basically, I just don’t like any of the music that’s coming out any more. I can find indie songs online for free (legally) that I enjoy a lot more. My friends make me mix CDs sometimes, but other than that, I haven’t heard any song on the radio that’s made me think, you know, I want to OWN that, to play it on demand whenever I want, so I’ll fork over some cash and buy it.

    I’ve wondered if it’s because I’m getting older and growing up seems to kill the void that only music filled in high school. But I also think the music that’s out there now IS a void.

  37. msquared says:

    Well, that’s to be expected when you’re part of the worst company in America…

  38. mac-phisto says:

    @harumph: “MTV GET OFF THE AIR!!” i love that song.

  39. danger the pirate says:

    so, i dont think i even have to type it, but…
    im not helping them out any.
    the last time i bought a cd was off of amazon, used and it was an older cd. most of the music i listen to is older stuff anyway, that i actually paid for.
    as far as quality rips, i downl.. acquired a cd that was 320 kb/s yesterday and its not like it matters on an ipod anyway.

  40. harumph says:

    @mph: this doesn’t explain why you pay full price for an album made in the 60′s or 70′s whose production costs have been paid for long before cds even existed. cds cost less than $1 to manufacture. methinks too much money goes to propping up/ the shoving down our throats of worse than mediocre performers. not artists for the most part, performers.

  41. leejames says:

    I think Fake Steve Jobs explained it rather admirably a few months ago. See here.

    Paraphrasing: The glamorous “music industry” is in fact two less-glamourous, lower-tech industries: extortion (loan money to artists to make albums at outrageous rates) and distribution (warehouses of little plastic discs). Cheap digital recording equipment and programs has killed the former and the digital disrtibution/piracy is killing the latter. They’re holding onto increasingly obsolete models.

    Not to mention the whole “suing your customers” and “suppressing new models of distribution” tactics. Those don’t make many friends.

  42. miburo says:

    Hmmm

    1) People who BUY their music from CD’s get crippled cd’s that won’t even play on some computer cd-roms (how many people still buy cd players?)

    2) Basically pissing everyone off that were still on the boarder line of buying some and pirating some by suing everyone

    3) Spending Millions upon millions on promoting cookie cutter artist with cookie cutter songs.

    4) Spending Millions upon millions on promoting artist that really have no appeal at all.

    Example: Who here who ever thought Britney Spears was ok before finds it absolutely horrifying that they are trying to promote her again as much as an A-List artist?

  43. Havok154 says:

    I just hope that my boycott of all RIAA affiliated music has contributed to this decline.

    You hear that Warner? As long as you sue your customers and affiliate yourself with those extortionists, I will not buy a single CD because music is only something I want, not need. Plus, there are other groups out there then your stock of crap.

  44. capturedshadow says:

    I never paid very much for music. I used to get friends to tape albums or CDs. As I get older I get more picky about sound quality so I don’t like MP3s except in the car where I can’t hear the difference. I do spend money on used CDs from artists I know I like. Time Warner was the company that invested in AOL right? Enough said

  45. leejames says:

    I guess I should throw in what I do… I don’t download anymore, but I used to in the glory days of Napster–ahh, Napster on dorm room T3 lines…

    Anyway, I still buy a lot of CDs, but that’s only because I don’t like the DRM’d MP3s from online music stores. Of course, crippleware on discs and the shift to DRM-free MP3s is making that point moot.

    It just seems shameful that the music industry appears to have no respect for their customers. I buy a lot less music than I used to simply because it’s such a pain in the ass.

  46. GreatMoose says:

    @mph: I suppose that’s part of it, but I think a bigger part of the problem is that CDs are overpriced for what they are. It’s as simple as that.

  47. cindel says:

    For me personally, I don’t listen to america music with the exception of few artists like NIN and Korn which btw I BROUGHT their cds.

    Another than that, Kpop/Jpop is my new drug.

  48. MalichiDemonos says:

    Bad sales = More pirating?

    Crappy music = Bad sales
    RIAA = bad reputation = Boycot = Bad sales

  49. clarient says:

    Why should I pay to buy a c-d by a mediocre artist who only gained a reputation through repetition on the local corporate radio station?

    Even if I LIKE a song that I hear (which is nooooot often!) I’m not going to pay to support a corrupt business with corrupt practices who will only continue to shove crap artists down my throat via controlled radio.

    I listen to college radio and I find new artists via the internet. Things I like… well, I’ll walk the plank before telling you how I acquire them.

  50. mac-phisto says:

    @harumph: oh, come on! cut them a little slack here. it takes a lot of time, energy & money to digitally remaster an album for the 13th time, pay a few artists to jazz up the cover art & place all those little MSRP $19.99 stickers on every single package! it’s gotta be more like $1.10.

  51. harumph says:

    @mac-phisto: i stand corrected.

  52. @GreatMoose: I’m waiting for someone to put the soundtrack in their special edition DVD set. Has this happened without me noticing? Because it seems to me to be the most obvious thing to do.

  53. leejames says:

    @mac-phisto: …pay a few artists to jazz up the cover art…

    Haha! Do you remember for a while they had those Deluxe Gold editions of classic albums? How to tell them apart from a plebian regular edition?? They put a 1/2 inch gold border around the original album art. Ooooh, exclusive. Well worth the 20 bucks for an album I already own.

  54. overbysara says:

    I haven’t bought a cd in I don’t know how long… no value in it.

  55. Techguy1138 says:

    For me I have bought two albums since napster was shut down. That is $35 in the last decade.

    I don’t pirate music, I have taken a few free digital downloads and purchased one online track. I don’t like the whole Clear Channel domination, sue everyone else for my problems model of business.

    However I believe the REAL reason that they are loosing money is Walmart and Best Buy. By selling the CD’s at cut rate prices they have driven down the perceived value of physical media. Many times popular disks are sold at a loss. Most Cd’s I see now are $10 or less for popular new releases. Given the inflation rate that is about 1/3 to 1/4 what I used to pay for a music CD. Cd’s without drm are available in stores for $9.99 and people STILL think they are too expensive.

    In terms of price now is the best time to buy CD’s for a collection. In terms of satisfaction of business practice not so much.

  56. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    1) DRM/crippleware
    2) That isn’t the only way they screw customers. I’m old enough to remember all the price fixing, etc.
    3) I refuse to be treated like a disobedient slave by companies that are too arrogant to want my business.
    4) Did I say BOYCOTT?
    5) I have a piano and a voice and I’m not afraid to use them!
    6) I cultivated a taste for classical music when I was 5. There are lots of classical CDs for a song… sorry, I sort of had to do that :)

  57. Jalynn says:

    My girlfriend thinks that the record industry should try to make vinyl cool again. (We already think vinyl is cool.) They could bundle the LP with a free, DRM-free high quality download. People get the digital music and also the record. Every time we have people over, they comment on the record player and our extensive collection of current (mostly indie) records. Oh, and vinyl looks better signed.

  58. Crushmeguy says:

    @COWBOYS_FAN
    How should this free music be funded? Who will pay for the studio time? What about the manufacturing of the media? There are plenty of people who work on great records with great bands who aren’t rolling in the dough.

    For example, a good friend of mine is a producer/engineer. He is not rich by any means. ~$80,000 a year if he is lucky and gets jobs continuously. Between $40k and $50k otherwise. Oh, and he works with some major players in the industry. I can’t say who exactly, since you could easily find his name by looking at the album sleeves, but we are talking bands along the lines of Rancid, Sufjan Stevens, and Def Leopard (back in the day). Not the biggest names in the world, but certainly well above average acts in terms of sales and popularity.

    Producers, for the most part, make no more money than any band they work with. There are exceptions to the rule, such as guys who turn out beats and tracks for the next Timberlake album, but that is certainly not the norm.

    The major labels take the cash, when its available. Most productions lose money these days. The majors rely on their top 15 acts to bring home the bacon, while operating at a loss with half of their artists.

    “So who pays for the engineers, musicians, producers, and marketers”, I ask?

  59. Art Vandelay says:

    @Jalynn: You should know that a lot of indie labels are doing just this.

  60. dugn says:

    @ JALYNN

    This is pretty much what LP folks are doing now. Check out any audiophile magazine or catalog and they’ll sell you a crisp vinyl LP with an accompanying CD of the music ripped in very high resolution with NO DRM!

    It’s almost worth buying an LP – even if you aren’t going to use it – simply to get the ‘license’ to get the high quality rip without having to do the work yourself.

    The record companies/RIAA really need to wake up and smell the Reality.

  61. ikes says:

    Good old Edgar Bronfman, Jr. First, he displayed an amazing skill at killing a decades-old profitable company (Seagram), and now is continuing his hot streak with Warner. Good job, Jr!

  62. GreatMoose says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation:

    That’s a great point. IIRC, a few anime titles have done this, but no hollywood titles come to mind.

  63. IC18 says:

    Maybe because lately theres been nothing but shitty music with the exception of a few albums. I’ll stick with my oldies for now.

  64. It’s the invisible hand of the market, baby.

    With cheap or free substitutes, poor product quality and ridiculous restrictions on product usage, there’s no wonder why they’re having so much trouble.

    The record industry needs to realize that this is NOT the same market as 40, 20, or even 10 years ago. Gone are the days of marking up albums to $20-$30. Today, the marginal cost of selling a single song or album is almost zero. It’s simply a digital copy of what they already have- no record press or magnetic tape factory needed. If Warner and others want to survive, they must adjust their prices, marketing and business structure to reflect the modern music market- not the one of decades ago.

  65. chstwnd says:

    Well, I don’t buy online music. The price point set for online music retailing was set at a standard to make the per-song-cost-to-the-consumer similar to buying a CD. Only the costs for online etailing aren’t the same as production costs for physically distibuted material. Quite the contrary, they’re a fraction of the cost of manufacturing CDs for sale. And CDs are overpriced as it is, so, IMHO, they don’t make a good price point scaler.

    In all honesty, I used to buy more new music (well, new to me – I love used CD shops) before the RIAA and DRM tidal wave started. Now, I hardly buy anything because I’m, quite frankly, disgusted with the greedy bastards, and I can just as easily listen to my 300+ CD collection from now until I die without getting musically bored. Oh, and thanks to the used CD shops, I would estimate my average price per disc at around $5, which is waaaaaay more in line with a good price point.

  66. lindsaynagle says:

    @Crushmeguy: I see your point, but exactly why should a record producer be entitled to make a six figure salary? Is he researching a cure for cancer? I’m much more concerned about the salaries of elementary school teachers in this country. If people in the entertainment industry (engineers, producers, and artists alike) don’t feel they are earning enough money, perhaps it’s not society’s problem. Maybe, just maybe, being an entertainer isn’t really that lucrative a career choice. I don’t think it should be. I can think of many, many more people who deserve my hard earned cash in exchange for their services a hell of a lot more than Britney’s wardrobe consultant.

  67. gabi says:

    I actually bought a WB album this year, “New Wave” by Against Me. The only reason I bought it was because I knew WB took a huge chance in signing the band, and I like supporting the band since they started off as one guy in a college laundromat… But guess what? It’s disabled from playing in most computers. Crap like that is why I don’t normally buy CDs anymore. Until the record companies wake up, it’s a pirate’s life for me.

  68. mac-phisto says:

    @gabi:

    Dear GABI,

    This is your official pre-settlement offer from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on behalf of Warner Music Group. It has come to our attention that you downloaded the entire contents of the New Wave album by Against Me! via bittorent. You can avoid having this become a civil matter by sending us a certified check or money order in the amount of $13,372.96.

    We are aware that you may have purchased the album via CD in addition to downloading it illegally. If this is the case, you can deduct the amount of your purchase from the settlement amount provided you enclose a copy of your receipt.

    Thank You and Have a Rocking Day!

    The Enforcers

  69. Cowboys_fan says:

    @Crushmeguy: Your right, I misspoke. I meant the labels get rich, not the producers, and the musicians get screwed.
    However there should be no funding, it should be free. Like I said, music has been around for 1000′s of years before anybody thought to profit off of it.

  70. adamondi says:

    I would definitely say that Crappy Music is my #1 reason for not spending much money on music any more. There is so little coming out lately that is even likable, let alone good. I find myself listening to more and more podcasts because the music on the radio stations just annoys the crap out of me. I have found my favorite artists and I am loyal to them. I buy their stuff and enjoy it. Unsurprisingly, the artists that don’t make my ears bleed almost never get any radio play.

    Screw the RIAA and record labels. They are obsolete. People can do for themselves what it used to take a label to do. They can record, mix, master, and distribute music completely independent of the tyranny of labels. And the best music is often done this way, now.

    Long live good music! Down with the RIAA and record labels! Yo ho, yo ho!

  71. doodaddy says:

    The new culture is to buy single songs. It should have always been this way for crappy non-artistic “entertainers” and their albums of pablum. Now that it is possible the system is becoming more, er “efficient.” No more 600% extra for the music company.

    I’ve always been an “album” man myself, and I’m not having much luck in the new millennium.

  72. hustler says:

    I don’t buy anything from crappy lables warner. I only buy music from smaller lables, and if it were a big company like this one…yarrrr scurvy dogs!

  73. hoo_foot says:

    Even if the music industry didn’t have to contend with piracy or DRM, they would still be tanking. Investing in no-talent hacks and charging the public $20 for their CDs is a bad business plan.

  74. @Cowboys_fan: Are you sure musicians weren’t paid before 1900? Beethoven and Liszt weren’t doing stuff for free.

  75. meneye says:

    I just can’t get over how this company continually screws it’s customers over and over and over. And then expects profits not to fall.

    Someone needs to get fired.

  76. shiwsup says:

    A few disconnected thoughts:

    Low sales
    Music costs a lot, it still doesn’t travel well for the average listener (lack of digital convergence + DRM), and there are other entertainment options competing for our money.

    Diminishing excitement
    Hip hop music and every form of branding related to it is a top seller, but the whole genre is facing a backlash of resentment, even by those who continue to buy music. The formulas are showing their age and everyone is waiting for something different.

    To those who talk about eliminating music labels…
    I’m not sure what the deal is. No one forced any of these artists to sign on the line. If they wanted, they could make music in their spare time, give it away for free or sell it on iTunes, and continue going on with about their lives. Many do this and we can all enjoy their music just the same… provided we have a way of discovering it. But most people, given the choice, would jump at the chance to work on music full time. And that requires a change in philosophy.

    Shifting to full-time music production costs money–a lot of money. Living expenses aside, you have instruments, equipment, studio time, all personnel related to high-caliber recording, and production. All of those professionals cost big dollars because they also do this full time and their equipment costs big dollars and the expertise required to work with them requires significant investments of time. And that’s just the music. Once you’ve invested a bunch of money into creating a product, you want to market it, just like anything else. So there is a whole firm full of people working full time to get the music in front of consumers. People moving money around, people working on the artist’s image and arranging photo shoots and getting the artist on the radio. People setting up concerts and tours and arranging music videos (and hiring all of those people… on and on. Creating an entire brand built on a single CD costs a ton. It’s like any other investment… it just happens to be more exciting and fun than buying Verizon stock.

    You try making a quality CD working only in your spare time with spare money and see how far it gets you. Then, when you actually commit to making music, see how willing you are to make it and simply post in on a website or *gasp* sell it without spending some time and money to make sure people know about it.

    I agree that the structure of the recording deals can be terrible, but in principle the idea is not that outlandish.

  77. a_m_m_b says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: now that would be worth my $$ :)

    used to d/l a lot of all kinds of music when napster was around. neither bought nor d/l much since. at least with nap i could try it for long enuff to see if it was worth owning.

    i really don’t mind paying a reasonable price for music. so long as the artist gets paid – art is work don’t ever think otherwise; & i get to play/store it however & wherever i please.

  78. CaliforniaConsumer says:

    I know that where I’m spending my money. I’ve given up on CDs and now am mostly download-only from eMusic and a couple DRM-less iTunes tracks. Last time I bought a CD was to pre-order the upcoming New Pornographers Album because it came with all these free goodies. And there’s also the concerts I go to. Guess what, they’re the same artists that release their music without DRM.

  79. kingdom2000 says:

    I haven’t bought a CD in over a year. Several reasons but the main one is its not worth spending the money for maybe one or two good songs. The other reason is music today is simply not that good. I am tired of the Spear clones and the like where looks is all that matters and the talent will be covered in post production.

    I miss the days from the 70s and 80s where the musicians where real musicians that had the ability to create music themselves rather then buy someone else’s work as its done today.

    Until the cookie cutter one size fits all if the singer is hot approach remains, CD sells will decline.

  80. lowlight69 says:

    other than NIN i have not bought a CD in years, might be closer to a decade now. its all crap out there. i don’t even pirate the music, the space on my hard drive/ipod is worth more empty than putting that sh!t on there. seriously, most everything out there sucks. i am pretty happy with my previously owned cds that i have ripped. i will occasionally buy a song here and there on itunes, but even that is rare for me. with work, wife, daughter, triathlon, friends, sleep, food, when do i have time to even go to the stores and look for more crap to buy?????

    BTW i have Depeche Mode playing in my ears right now. :) old school Depeche Mode, :) Enjoy the Silence. :):):):)

    (you know you are singing the chorus to yourself right now) :)

  81. peggynature says:

    I get most of my music from the library. It’s a really BIG library, and I like a lot of not-quite-bleeding-edge (ie old) music, so it’s a good source for that.

    Otherwise? I’m sick of feeling victimized by liking one song on a new record, paying $20 for that record and realizing the rest of it is total crap. Hate to sound fuddy-duddy, but mostly, they don’t make ‘em like they used to.

    There are a few notable recent exceptions where I’ve loved the new music so much that I’ve bought ALL of the records on CD when I could have easily downloaded them for free. Because guess what? When you make a quality product, most normal people will want to buy it, legitimately.

    But good luck with that, you greed-blinded arseholes.

  82. eli_b says:

    piracy accounts for about 10 percent of the decline. the other 90 percent is based specifically on poor management. sic semper tyrannis.

  83. asherchang says:

    @Cowboys_fan: That is the most embarassing argument that I have ever seen.

  84. TechnoDestructo says:

    From 1995 (when every single band I liked released shitty albums) to 2000, I bought a grand total of one CD (Rammstein’s “Sehnsucht” in 1998).

    From 2000-2004, I bought dozens. The difference? File sharing. I wasn’t relying on the utter FAILURE that is commercial and most college radio to introduce me to music anymore.

    Since 2004, I swore off new CDs (breaking down once for the new Dragonforce CD), and then off RIAA material entirely, because of their lawsuits. That’s a couple hundred dollars a year they aren’t getting from me until they completely cease suing people for file sharing at least…and probably forever.

  85. Ncisfan says:

    @dugn:

    Also try Hot-Topic they usually have a shelf (the span of a wall) below the CDs and band shirts filled with vinyl records at really reasonable prices!!!

  86. SovietBear says:

    @peggynature: Try Inter-Library Loan (ILL). So long as a CD is over a year old, your library can probably get it from anywhere in the country. I found some pretty rare rockabilly albums through ILL.

  87. jamar0303 says:

    I personally think Warner Music has some great artists on their label. They’re just all on Warner Japan (Rip Slyme, Mariya Takeuchi, Bonnie Pink, Tatsuro Yamashita, Cornelius, etc). Even better, there’s no crapware on their Japanese discs (Japan is always ahead of the rest, even when the company in question isn’t Japanese). I buy the stuff and support them. It’s just that there’s no good way to get the stuff in the US other than from online stores (the last time I tried ordering online the store got my order to me 1 hour after I had to leave for a weeklong trip to Boston even when they said next-day; I had ordered 2 weeks in advance of my trip). Oh well, at least I go there every so often.

  88. Soldier_CLE says that Hideo Kojima has to make MGS till the day he dies! says:

    It’s funny to see that such a failed concept, such as the RIAA attempt to make bucks off the backs of hard-working people who sampled before buying CDs and other audio media are, no matter how you spin it, the very cancer that we all said they’d be. Add this to the shill that radio stations that are commonly owned by Clearchannel and CBS Radio, regurgutating the same old crap (Since well before the “ripoff artists” like “Pee Dribble”), along with other annoying little brats telling me that that they don’t like my girlfriend every 15 minutes on the radio that completely convince me NOT to visit a record store, or pick up anything new that is mainstream (I still like some of the newer stuff from some of the more original outlets, though)

    I can only imagine how shaken up the A&Rs are out there, realizing that the masses think that their tastes in music is SHIT! (though most are still in denial, much in the same way that Bush thinks he’s doing an awesome job in the war on terror… I digress though…)

    So, I blame it on a mixture of Craptastic “music”, Craptastic “Musicians”, Craptastic A&Ring, Craptastic DRMing, Craptastic Radio playing the same shit over and over again, and THE EVER CRAPTASTIC RIAA!!!

    May they all burn in Hell!

    And myself? Meh, I’ll stick to my vinyls… They sound better, anyways…

  89. shades_of_blue says:

    Since around 1997 I’ve only bought a handful of CDs. Why? Because my previous collection was stolen, when my friends car was broken into [left the CDs in his car]. The insurance company wouldn’t pay for anything that wasn’t bolted down. SHADY

    So I used FTP sites to rebuild my collection, why should I have to pay for the same thing twice? According to that scum RIAA I own a license, not a CD. If I own a license for that music in digital form, then I’m entitled to it regardless of what happened to the physical media. IF you loose your Windows install CD, your COA sticker still entitles you to own and operate Windows.

    From there, I just gave up on music CDs. Why should I have to deal with that BS a 2nd time? And thanks to DRM, they’ve stripped my rights and ability to freely duplicate my legitimately owned music to prevent losses from theft.

    And I don’t listen to the radio much, so I’m not constantly hearing new music. Can’t buy what you don’t know exists. MTV? Not a chance, I’m tempted to use the ‘v-chip’ for the sole porous of blocking access to that station.

  90. HungryGrrl says:

    a bigggg problem I see with the music industry is it’s inability to manage ‘promo copies’ that ‘leak’ on the internet weeks or months before the album comes out.

    By the time the album is released, and the magazine reviews based on the promos come out, all the fans have heard the album and passed judgment on it.

  91. veal says:

    It’s worth remembering, all you posters complaining about the quality of today’s music, that 99% of all music has ALWAYS been crap. Go back and check out some “forgotten music” blogs, or go check out the release schedules of big companies going back to at least the 60s. The whole industry is miss-or-hit and always has been. The only reasons you perceive things to be worse today are: the rewriting of history by demographically-oriented “60s hits” stations (or 70s, or 80s, or 90s or “classic rock” or you-name it), the relative LACK of hegemony by big groups (there are no Fleetwood Macs, Eagles or Bee Gees having long strings of hits anymore – that doesn’t happen in the singles-oriented world everyone keeps describing, there’s no longevity at all, no support form major labels, as in “if your first album flops, you’re out” and no albums to choose more songs from), and the fact that, contrary to popular opinion, there are more inroads to hear new music (that you don’t like), not less – witness filesharing, satellite radio, blogging, and the ascendancy of smaller (yet unsuccessful) labels.

    The problem is both in the music itself, though there’s still great art out there, and in a failure of our collective memory to recall things as they actually were, not how various sources would LIKE us to recall them.

  92. Saboth says:

    Basically if the music industry and the RIAA wants to make it so hard for me to enjoy music in formats that work on all of my home and auto devices…all while charging me an arm and a leg, I’ll spend my money elsewhere. I don’t do illegal downloads or anything, but with DRM, CDs costing $15-$18, bullying by the RIAA, and lack of new, original music…I simply haven’t felt like buying any new music. They wanted a lockdown monopoly on music? They got it…enjoy! And I don’t buy for a second it is “pirates” that are hurting their sales…they are alienating their customers, and I feel a majority of people probably feel like I do.

  93. buthidae says:

    I abhor commercial music. I would pay to not hear a large amount of what is pumped out by talentless people backed by a talentless organisation.

  94. Crushmeguy says:

    @lindsaynagle: I agree with you completely. My comment was in reply to Cowboys_Fan’s statement, “producers get rich…music should be free”. I was making the point that producers aren’t rich and it does cost money to create records.

  95. pkchukiss says:

    Perhaps it might not have crossed their minds that level headed investors have realised that suing your own customers isn’t a very sound business plan.