Friday, May 14, 2004

Oh, THOSE record sales!

Found this through BoingBoing (where I find LOTS of cool stuff, actually) - the real reason that RIAA keeps reporting lower sales...
"There is only one logical integration of all these statistics with the recent Soundscan data: even though actual point-of-purchase sales are up by about 9% in the US - and the industry sold over 13,000,000 more units in 2004 (1st quarter) than in 2003 (1st quarter) - the Industry is still claiming a loss of 7% because RIAA members shipped 7% fewer records than in 2003.

Forget the confusing percentages, here's an oversimplified example: I shipped 1000 units last year and sold 700 of them. This year I sold 770 units but shipped only 930 units. I shipped 10% less units this year. And this is what the RIAA wants the public to accept as "a loss."

I'll go a step further. This fact, that Sherman [RIAA rep. - ed.] seems to confirm, should logically mean a smaller percentage of returns. But, shouldn't fewer returns mean higher profit margins and faster turnaround; and shouldn't that be good for both the retail and wholesale side of the industry? "Sure," admits Sherman today, "but I have no idea what US shipments looked like in the first quarter." Then how can he claim world-wide "losses" in his March speech to Financial Times New Media?"
Read the whole article - it's a fascinating look at the way CD "sales" are counted depending on what story one wants to tell, including switching back and forth between US sales and international sales without making it clear which is being discussed. I already had a pretty sizable hate-on for those creeps - this just confirms why.

I have to say that again - actual sales to consumers are up 9% year over year for 1st quarter. Un-fricking-believable.

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