19 March 2010

Why the ICC Report Makes Me Ick

I have restrained myself from writing much about the ICC's "Building a Digital Economy" report, because I knew it would make me too cross. Fortunately, someone who is rather calmer me than me has done a better job than I would with some careful, rigorous analysis.

I urge you to read the whole thing, since it points out really well the huge holes in the report's logic and methodology. But there's one paragraph I'd like to pull out:

Most telling is the fact that the ICC report states that cinema ticket sales are also dropping, and seems to blame piracy for that. However, the MPAA has recently reported that global ticket sales are at an all-time high, with a global increase of 30% since 2005! More importantly, there is a lot of investment going into the industry, which indicates that it is very healthy. The MPAA reports that the number of digital 3D screens in Europe has grown from 0 in 2005, to 3,495 in 2009. That is hardly an industry affected by piracy.

I really think this is key: people are re-discovering both cinema and live music (something I've written about extensively on this blog). The fact that these are ignored is why the latest report is not just wrong, but completely wrong-headed. It perversely ignores the fundamental shifts in people's taste that the industry needs to understand and build upon.

And that's what really makes me sick: the fact that the media companies doesn't even want to acknowledge that it actually has a huge opportunity, but prefers instead to try to blame ordinary users for sharing and thus promoting their content.

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