How Much Have Labels Lost Since Napster Was Born?

Posted by on May 16, 2011

Pulled From Court Documents By DigitalMusicNews.com

The labels and RIAA have finally won their five year battle against LimeWire last week when it was announced that the peer-to-peer file-sharing website would pay $105 million for damages they caused the industry. Though it took a while for the case to finally come to a close, the whole ordeal is an eye opening experience as to how much damage has occurred within the past decade. For instance, the recording industry reportedly offered evidence during the LimeWire trial that claims they’ve lost more than $55 billion since Napster came into existence in 1999.

That’s right, a $55 billion decline in revenue over the past decade (ending at 2009). Though it might be a stretch to pin this all on Napster and LimeWire, it’s without question that both sites (especially Napster) had a huge role in this major loss. Napster itself opened the flood gates to what has become the normal practice of file-sharing during a time when multi-platinum albums and multi-million-dollar salaries use to be normal in the industry (ahh, 2000 how we miss ya).

Though again, it’s not like the labels helped themselves with regaining any of the lost profit. Rather than innovate, labels have been on a suing frenzy for the past few years, suing Napster, LimeWire and any teenager who downloaded a few songs. Not only do we still find it absurd to continue a witch hunt after individual downloaders (the smaller picture in our minds), but it’s also a heavy cost for labels (we for one couldn’t afford their labels for even an hour).

So in the end, LimeWire now follows the same fate as Napster did. But file sharing is still commonly done and is still affecting the music industry. Now the question becomes what will the labels do to regain their lost revenue.

[via Digital Music News]


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