Bye bye bling bling

My secret source deep inside the music industry dropped me a note today with the latest Edison Media Research report on how crappy life is for the recording industry (read more about it here). The report details survey results from a thousand people age 12 and up who were asked to respond to statements like “There is nothing morally wrong about downloading music for free from the Internet”. The news is bad, but not quite as horrible as last year. Whether it will keep getting not-quite-as-bad until it is actually good is another matter. But, as they say in the medical business, all bleeding eventually stops. Heh heh.

The big problem is that music sales are down down down… but why? Do people care less about music these days? Are bands worse now than ever before? Or are people just downloading files like horny MP3 monkeys? Answers: no, not really, and yes they are. So what’s the not-so-bad part? Guilt is making a comeback. Only 60% of teenagers think there’s nothing wrong with freeloading. As opposed to 74% last year. And why not pick up that song for free? All recording artists are rich. I saw it on TV!

[Respondents aged] 12 to 24 buy into the media’s “bling bling” portrayal of the music industry. Half believe that all recording artists and record label employees are rich, live in big houses, and drive expensive cars.

There’s irony for you: MTV is a media virus that hyper-glorifies the music business even as it sows the seeds that will destroy it.