It’s sure to be one of the most blogged-about stories this season but it’s worth repeating. Finally, what everyone (except the major labels and their RIAA lawyers) have known and admitted is now in a study stating the obvious: Illegal Downloading is Here to Stay. That’s according to MCPS-PRS Alliance and Big Champagne, the later of which measures traffic for illegal downloads, many times used by the majors to get stats about their artists. Granted that Big Champagne has a vested interest here but they’d also know best. Plus, let’s face it… we all knew this already. Artists are already hip to the study’s other conclusion, which is that they are gonna have to find other ways to make money.
Even with the RIAA starting to get pushed back by the courts, the stats have also revealed that far from tapping off, illegal downloads are actually increasing. The labels have to keep a brave face by sicking the RIAA dogs on some users but they’re also hepping to the fact that they better find other sources of income too (i.e. ringtones, licensing to movies and video games, commercial tie-in’s, etc..). Of course, they can’t publicly throw in the towel and admit defeat but behind closed doors, they know they’re in trouble and that they blew it by not trying to turn the original Napster users into customers quick enough.