A Taylor’d Piracy Panic Narrative

cibo00_Cassette_Jolly_Roger_(Rouge)I’ve been writing about what I call the piracy panic narrative for a while. The piracy panic narrative goes that file-sharing is piracy, piracy is stealing, and this stealing hurts recording artists. In this simplistic view of the recording industry (constructed by the major record labels), we are bringing about the death of music by file-sharing, ripping CDs, and streaming music. The main problem with this argument being that piracy is not stealing and these activities are not “piracy,” in the first place. However, the recording industry repeatedly makes these claims beginning with Metallica in 2000.
Now Taylor Swift has gotten into the discussion. She states “Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for.” Continue reading

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Billboard 200 Recalculated

More than a decade after the launch of the iTunes Music Store, parts of the recording industry are finally changing the way they calculate sales. Billboard changed the metrics it uses to calculate the Billboard 200. Rather than calculating only album sales, Billboard 200 will now use “track-equivalent albums” and “track-equivalent streams.” This is the biggest change in the way that Billboard calculates this chart since the implementation of SoundScan in 1991, and it already appears to be every bit as monumental. Continue reading

Going Platinum

In October, people panicked that 2014 could be the first year without a platinum album. Could this be the end of platinum albums? What will this do to music? The panic swelled on the Internet. Then Taylor Swift’s 1989 dropped and sold 1.287 million units in one week, and it could go multi-platinum in under a month. Of course the platinum album isn’t going anywhere. And whether or not an album is certified platinum has no effect on whether you will get to listen to your jams. Continue reading