Napster Didn’t Hurt Music Sales

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I would like to thank the public i for running the article by the wonderfully talented Rose Marshack. Her insights into the music business were very interesting and informative.
I do, however, have one point to make, and that is to question the assumption that the trading and downloading of Mp3s hurt music sales.
In 2000, the heyday of the music trading service Napster (the largest and most widely used peer-to-peer network at that time), sales of CDs actually grew by 8 percent as compared with the previous year.
In fact, record sales didn’t start dropping until six months after the closing down of Napster. In the first half of 2001 sales were down 5.4 percent, according to SoundScan. (SoundScan is the system, introduced in 1991, that measures album purchases at their point of sale, giving the music industry precise sales figures.)
You could infer that Napster and other peer-to-peer networks actually bolstered sales rather than hindering them. Most of the claims by labels that music trading was hurting music sales were discredited, or else derived from polls that were taken beforeNapster (and similar services) even existed.
The ability to copy and trade media has never hurt the entertainment industry, despite their traditional and now predictable hue and cry. Cassette taping didn’t kill the music industry, VHS tapes didn’t kill the movie industry, and Mp3s shouldn’t take the blame for the lack of interest in the moribund and stale releases the major labels push on the masses.
Otherwise a great article. I hope the public i keeps up the good work!

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