If you follow the mainstream

If you follow the mainstream media, you may be told by a trustworthy, concerned-looking talking head this evening or read in a stolid, respectable rag tomorrow morning that CD sales are down 39% since last year. If you pay close attention, you might discover that the number applies to CD singles, but in any case 39% is quite a lot, isn’t it? You may think to yourself, “Oh, my… what have we done?” Well, I’m happy to say you can relax, and here is slashdot’s jamie to look at the source of that statistic:

That's right, CD singles. Unit sales for the singles were down 39%, revenue down 36% (they raised prices, of course).

And CD singles account for how much of the RIAA's profits?

Not quite one percent.

Yes, that's right: they lost 36% of 1% of their profits.

And the news media is reporting it as a 39% loss.

The facts are that their "CD sales" are up this year, even over last year's stunning performance. The RIAA increased the average price of a full-length CD from $13.65 to $14.02, and still managed to sell 3,600,000 more of them.

Total profit increase on this, the core of their business, was 3.1%, or just shy of an extra $400,000,000. (read more ...)
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