Piracy: It's Not Killing the Entertainment Industry


Mike Masnick at TechDirt discusses a new study of his, The Sky is Rising, that looks at the positive signs of growth in the entertainment industry, for both consumers and producers, in an age when we are told we need to empower the government to shut down the Internet because of digital piracy of (largely) entertainment goods.

Some details:

the overall entertainment ecosystem is in a real renaissance period. The sky truly is rising, not falling: the industry is growing both in terms of revenue and content. We split the report up into video & film, books, music and video games—and all four segments are showing significant growth (not shrinking) over the last decade. All of them are showing tremendous opportunity. The amount of content that they're all producing is growing at an astounding rate (which again, is the most important thing). But revenue, too, is growing. Equally important is that rather than consumers just wanting to get stuff for free, they have continually spent a greater portion of their income on entertainment—with the percentage increasing by 15% from 2000 to 2008. 

This all points to the fact that what is happening within the industry is not a challenge of a business getting smaller—quite the opposite. It's about the challenge of an industry getting larger, but doing so in ways that route around the existing structures….

Some of the key points:

  • Entertainment spending as a function of income went up by 15% from 2000 to 2008
  • Employment in the entertainment sector grew by 20%—with indie artists seeing 43% growth.
  • The overall entertainment industry grew 66% from 1998 to 2010.
  • The amount of content being produced in music, movies, books and video games is growing at an incredible pace

Read the whole study, which is contained within the story itself.

As Nick Gillespie noted in Reason back in the last century with history-making scope and precision, the age of cultural abundance is still here, still clear, still great, and not destroying people's ability to sell as well as get for free cultural product.

Mike Riggs on "Who Needs SOPA?," noting the continuing dangers of government attempts to crack down on the piracy supposedly but not really killing the culture industries.