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Old 11th July 2012
  #1690
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
... the author at the link below did some fairly substantial statistical analysis trying to sort out which demographic markets may have been affected by file sharing. I'm just not knowledgeable enough of the music industry to understand if the paper presents a realistic view of what actually goes on in the music industry. That's where I could use some help if anybody can critique the paper's understanding of the industry or direct me to a careful study by someone who appears to understand how music is actually marketed in the real world.

http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~felten/boorstin-thesis.pdf
i've read this paper, the data seems fairly accurate, but as you rightly suspected the analysis and conclusion have little to do with reality. the author either neglects or is completely unaware of how music is marketed and sold, and to whom.

apart from a few specific genres (which have only ever represented niche markets at best), music marketing has never targeted the older demographic slices (40+) that the author seems to think will float future music sales; and it never will. the return has never been worth pursuing. but more importantly, the 40+ audience are by and large a strategic dead end for the industry over the long term. historically, older people buy infrequently compared to younger people, and are far less likely to purchase new music. young people have been the life blood of music sales since day one, and for good reason: they're more open-minded to new music and new forms of music, and their appetite for music that follows the latest trends is reliable (and profitable). young people enable the industry to sustain and renew itself: they create the demand for new product.

so to answer your question: even if the author's analysis was statistically accurate as of today (which i question), his conclusion is way off the mark--it's an unrealistic and unsustainable model.