Universal Music Group, along with consulting firm Bain & Company, has conducted a study on how a post-piracy society would perform. According to their research, music sales would skyrocket to 17 times what they are now in three years if piracy and free content were eradicated tomorrow.
It may seem a tad fantastical, but UMG pictures a “Piracy D-Day” where there’s a serious crackdown on illegal downloading and a decrease in freemium services.
The plan? Removing domain names, content-blocking by ISPs, and intensified actions in court in conjunction with increased political backing (essentially, everything we are doing now to the 10th degree).
With the upswing in streaming services such as Spotify, is this piracy-free vision realistic? Many artists, like Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue, don’t see freemium as such a bad omen: “What put a thorn in my ass was seeing fans getting sued. Now I can just pay a subscription and get all this music… I think it is a healthier answer.”
According to the LA Times, piracy has actually gone down, most likely because of freemium subscriptions. Will Apple Music give us that feeling of “walking into an independent record shop,” as Trent Reznor conceives, or will its launch this week set us years back in UMG’s projections?
Recording Sales Would be 17 Times Higher Without Piracy, UMG Study Finds…
Music Piracy is Down but Still Very Much in Play
Trent Reznor compares Apple Music to the 'feeling of walking into an independent record shop'