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RIAA: Net piracy, 'devastating'

Recording Industry Association of America president, Cary Sherman, has said that the 31% decrease in music sales between 1999 and 2002 is primarily down to piracy on the Internet.

This, of course, isn't going to come as a suprise to our readers. The RIAA's viewpoint on online music piracy is well known and thought by many to be diverting attention from the decline of quality music to make room for one-trick 'acts' and a quick buck.

According to Sherman, "more music is being consumed than at any time in history, it's just that less of it is being paid for". However, this doesn't really take into account the whole picture. We live in a time where satellite television is dominated by countless music channels, the radio playlists are largely made up of fluff and consumers are becoming more picky over what they actually spend their money on. What's the point in spending money on fluff when it's so widely available already?

As I've already said in the past, many people use MP3 downloads as a way of sampling music before spending up to £10 on an album. This is borne out in the increase in album sales that has been reported in the past. However, the sharp drop in the sale single has seen a large overall decline in money making its way back into the music industry bigwig's coffers.

We'd be interested to hear your views on this. Do you think the online piracy is 'devastating music'? How have your music consumption habits changed in the last five years?

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