According to the Guardian online Glen Merrill the recently hired executive (formerly with Google) to help move EMI into the digital age has acknowledged that research into file sharing is not the evil thing the industry has been saying that it is. Merrill suggests that part of the problem is that P2P users are buying music but through channels that they can’t or aren’t currently measuring. Merrill also stands up against the RIAA strategy of suing its customers. The full article can be found at – File sharing ‘may be good’, says EMI executive – The Guardian.
From a personal perspective, the assumption that a download equates to a lost sale is flawed. When release patterns between different parts of the world are staggered people (particularly enthusiastic fans) may well download the album for the part of the world where an album has been released and then purchase it locally once the album becomes available. A situation that is of the industry’s own making as evidenced by the fuss over CD-Wow’s CD sourcing which means it is legally only allowed to source CDs from within Europe.
The worrying thing is that others within EMI seem not to have a good handle on the record business, and as a result artists are leaving or looking to leave EMI like a sinking ship. Meaning that EMIs profits will slip and the easy scape goat new digital sales strategies destroying an forward progress in the record industry’s mentality to P2P and online music. Call me a doom monger, but the record industry does have a history of going for the easy blame.