IFPI Digital Music Report 2008
24 Jan 2008
An incredible revolution is sweeping the music industry and in the pages of this report you will read how record companies are adapting their business to the dramatic changes brought about by the digital age.
Our digital revenues are growing and diversifying as our business model changes from one dominant format to hundreds of channels and products.
Yet behind the innovation, experimentation and diversification of the digital music market in 2007, another change has happened – of possibly even greater importance to the long term future of our business. The last year  has finally seen the wind of change blowing through old assumptions about the role internet service providers (ISPs) should play in protecting copyrighted content. ISP responsibility is becoming an accepted idea.
This is a critical development, because until now ISPs have played no such role. Copyright theft has been allowed to run rampant on their networks under the guise of technological advancement. Some estimates say no less than 80 per cent of all internet traffic comprises copyright-infringing files on peer-to-peer (P2P)
networks. ISPs have largely stood by, allowing a massive devaluation of copyrighted music. This in turn – and despite all the positives about our digital growth – has prompted a crisis in recorded music that has wide implications for the whole digital market place and all those businesses to whom music is an important ingredient.
Today, however, a sea-change is happening. The whole music sector, governments and even some ISPs themselves are beginning to accept that the carriers of digital content must play a responsible role in curbing the systemic piracy that is threatening the future of all digital commerce.
This report reflects revolution and innovation in the music business. Music is more advanced along the digital road than almost any other content business.
Revolution and innovation, however, are not going to be enough to secure a healthy future for the music industry. The third corner of the triangle is responsibility. 2007 was the year ISP responsibility started to become an accepted principle. 2008 must be the year it becomes a reality.
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