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Piracy's effect on historical sales
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lagavulin16
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18th January 2011
Old 18th January 2011
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Piracy's effect on historical sales

I was thinking about this the other day, and maybe some of you more in tune with the sales of "classic albums" can shed some light on it.

I think every kid in high school since the early 70s bought several Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Hendrix, Black Sabbath, and other "classic" albums. This carried on through the 80s and 90s.

How much of the music sales pie were based on these albums? Because my thought was even if piracy was stamped out, there are now so many copies of these albums floating around, backed up, stored on ipods/hard drives, that the demand for them may never return. While stopping piracy of new music may help with new releases, I imagine there are enough copies floating around that people could just copy the old fashioned way off the internet.

Could that be the case, barring a solution that wipes out everyone's current MP3 collection?
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18th January 2011
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I think Chris posted a link with all the year end soundscan stats including catalog and deep catalog breakdowns. Of course, that's only paid sales and I don't really know how to track the volume of pirated catalog.

One of the issues with Piracy is that it does not require you to personally know someone who has what you want. This was a great limiting factor of the cassette days. yeah, sure - if you knew someone that had what you wanted, you had to get them to either lend it to you, or make you a copy. I think it's easier to copy entire catalogs these days, but I can tell you, much of music purchasing is an impulse buy. If someone has to hear a specific song RIGHT NOW, and it's not available illegally for free from a google search, and is only 99 cents, I think we have damn good opportunity to capture that sale.

[edit] here's the link:
http://www.businesswire.com/news/hom...dustry-Report:
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18th January 2011
Old 18th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purple vista View Post
I think Chris posted a link with all the year end soundscan stats including catalog and deep catalog breakdowns.
Yes, and specifically the number one and number two biggest selling artists (worldwide) of the noughties 2000-2010 were 1) Eminem and 2) The Beatles.

The Beatles number two (before the iTunes agreement) ahead of Beiber, Gaga, Taylor Swift, Jay-Z etc.......
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18th January 2011
Old 18th January 2011
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Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Yes, and specifically the number one and number two biggest selling artists (worldwide) of the noughties 2000-2010 were 1) Eminem and 2) The Beatles.

The Beatles number two (before the iTunes agreement) ahead of Beiber, Gaga, Taylor Swift, Jay-Z etc.......
I'll look for your list. I wonder how many album sales Led Zeppelin had in the 90s versus the noughties.
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19th January 2011
Old 19th January 2011
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Originally Posted by lagavulin16 View Post
I'll look for your list. I wonder how many album sales Led Zeppelin had in the 90s versus the noughties.
Zepplin continues to sell well AFAIK. The thing about hard copy is that it wears out. The thing about software is that drives crash. So everything needs replacing eventually.
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19th January 2011
Old 19th January 2011
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Led Zeppelin All Album Sales

2009
543,562 Units

2010
435,145 Units

1992 to 2010
23,881,787 Units

Led Zeppelin All Song Sales

2009
1,932,171

2010
1,571,728

All Song Sales RTD (not sure when zep cat went live on Itunes)
6,912,065
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19th January 2011
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So this theory is comprehensively destroyed.
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19th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
So this theory is comprehensively destroyed.
What are you basing this on?

2009
543,562 Units

2010
435,145 Units

1992 to 2010
23,881,787 Units

I'd need to see the numbers for each year, but if they averaged 500K per year through the noughties, that means they sold 5,000,000 during the age of piracy - and sold 19,000,000 in the 8 years prior.

But really, my point won't be validated or invalidated until we go another decade. Everyone's older brother/uncle probably has pirated the complete Led Zeppelin catalog. While hard drives die, data retention and backups are becoming more common...

My point being that a solution for piracy may fix sales for new releases going forward, but I think the greatest albums from the 60s, 70s, and 80s may have been so pirated that their future sales will be forever damaged, even if piracy is eradicated.
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19th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lagavulin16 View Post
What are you basing this on?
Based on your original theory, and the fact we've simply and quickly demonstrated the opposite by revealing The Beatles and Zeppelin sales figures.
And now you seem to be adding more qualifications..... aka moving the goal posts?
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19th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Based on your original theory, and the fact we've simply and quickly demonstrated the opposite by revealing The Beatles and Zeppelin sales figures.
And now you seem to be adding more qualifications..... aka moving the goal posts?
How is showing you that Led Zeppelin appears to be selling 500K per year between 2000-2010, but were selling 2.5 million per year in the 8 years before that move the goal posts?

In any case, I wasn't trying to prove that we are HERE NOW, my point is that the piracy issue may linger and even if solved have permanently reduced sales for former catalog classics.

Further, I don't know the per year sales for Led Zeppelin outside of 2009 and 2010, but assuming it followed the rest of the industry for the past decade (flat at best) they were doing a lot better in the good old days.
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19th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lagavulin16 View Post
Because my thought was even if piracy was stamped out, there are now so many copies of these albums floating around, backed up, stored on ipods/hard drives, that the demand for them may never return. While stopping piracy of new music may help with new releases, I imagine there are enough copies floating around that people could just copy the old fashioned way off the internet.
What does The Beatles being the second most successful artist from 2000-2010 tell you?
It doesn't prove anything absolutely, but it kinda points to another un-real theory you are prone to proposing.
No one knows what the future will bring, but right now we have solid data that at least one band who stopped recording 30 years ago are still outselling most current artists, piracy and all.
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19th January 2011
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Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
What does The Beatles being the second most successful artist from 2000-2010 tell you?
It doesn't prove anything absolutely, but it kinda points to another un-real theory you are prone to proposing.
No one knows what the future will bring, but right now we have solid data that at least one band who stopped recording 30 years ago are still outselling most current artists, piracy and all.
I think it shows as much about their lasting impact and fan base as anything else. How did Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix do over that time period? Hendrix might be tough as he's released several "new" albums over that time period.

I think piracy rates vary greatly depending on genre. I'd argue that classical, adult contemporary, country, and any genre that our parents listen to are rarely pirated. I think that's a part of the Beatles success as well - every kegger I went to in high school, you knew just about every kid had Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Hendrix, AC/DC... but I don't think the Beatles were listened to the same way or by the same group.

How many of the Beatles sales came from that boxed set anyway?
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19th January 2011
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Originally Posted by lagavulin16 View Post
How did Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix do over that time period? Hendrix might be tough as he's released several "new" albums over that time period.
I don't know. We're not your data slaves. You prove your point.
We've gone to the trouble of raising a couple of very legitimate examples which seem to point away from your theory.
If that's not good enough you need to persuade us otherwise, with facts and figures of your own.
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19th January 2011
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Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I don't know. We're not your data slaves. You prove your point.
We've gone to the trouble of raising a couple of very legitimate examples which seem to point away from your theory.
If that's not good enough you need to persuade us otherwise, with facts and figures of your own.
I'm not data mining. I just haven't seen any examples that disprove or point away from my theory. What I've seen is that Led Zeppelin sold a hell of a lot fewer albums per year in 2009 and 2010 than they did from 92-2008.
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20th January 2011
Old 20th January 2011
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Originally Posted by lagavulin16 View Post
I think piracy rates vary greatly depending on genre. I'd argue that classical, adult contemporary, country, and any genre that our parents listen to are rarely pirated.
Actually the new figures for classical music piracy are shocking. I don't have the reference (maybe someone else does), but they are really bad.
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20th January 2011
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Yes, Jazz down 25%.
The figures are out there for those who look.
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20th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lagavulin16 View Post
What are you basing this on?

2009
543,562 Units

2010
435,145 Units

1992 to 2010
23,881,787 Units

I'd need to see the numbers for each year, but if they averaged 500K per year through the noughties, that means they sold 5,000,000 during the age of piracy - and sold 19,000,000 in the 8 years prior.

But really, my point won't be validated or invalidated until we go another decade. Everyone's older brother/uncle probably has pirated the complete Led Zeppelin catalog. While hard drives die, data retention and backups are becoming more common...

My point being that a solution for piracy may fix sales for new releases going forward, but I think the greatest albums from the 60s, 70s, and 80s may have been so pirated that their future sales will be forever damaged, even if piracy is eradicated.
those are soundscan figures - the data you request could be compiled but it would take time as it as to be done title by title.
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