Even more embarrassing, this isn’t some hippie independent researcher (most of whom have been insisting for years that piracy actually encourages higher music sales), but rather a music lobbying group, the International Federation of The Phonographic Industry:
Most revenue streams – downloads, subscription, advertising-supported, video, performance rights, synch – are growing. in some markets, such as India, Norway, Sweden and the us, digital has outstripped physical revenues, and more will follow. This has helped nearly half of our top 20 markets achieve growth in 2012.
So what happened? Essentially, the music industry gave the people what they wanted: Cheap, convenient, simple access to music the way they wanted to listen to it, whether over Internet radio, buying single tracks on websites, and so on. Basically the industry stopped piracy by, uh, offering fair prices and being more convenient and easier to use than a torrent. While the IFPI can’t help but pretend suing single moms for six figure sums somehow worked as a deterrent, the repeated takeaway for the overall report is that if you give the people what they want, they’ll gladly take it.
What this means for the “Six Strikes” law is unclear, but we imagine that once the actual data comes in, it might quietly go the way of the dodo. In the meantime, enjoy setting up a VPN, pirates.