Technology Nov 2007
Download deluge continues
Digital dominates the mix
downloads now dominate the New Zealand pop charts with online consumer
activity clearly driving the market, effectively killing off sales of
physical CD singles.
From May the Recording Industry Association (RIANZ) added digital downloads into the mix with counter sales and radio airplay, to more accurately reflect what Kiwis are listening to, when determining its weekly its sales charts.
Now songs or albums downloaded to computers, mobile phones or MP3 players from Amplifier, Digirama, iTunes, Telecom or Vodafone, are now treated the same as a song or album purchased from a storefront music retailer.
director of Media Sauce, which compiles the local music charts for RIANZ,
says music lovers are now back in charge of what ends up on the charts
as digital sales include all albums tracks as well as designated
‘singles’ prioritised by record companies.
Previously the charts were based on a 50/50 ratio from 3000-4000 physical CD sales plus analysis of what was being played on the radio each week. Today there are around 40,000 sales a week and 90 percent of which are digital; chart positions are 75 percent determined by sales and 25 percent airplay.
And it’s a fairly lucrative business, with 40,000 tracks downloaded a week at an average of $1.80 each that’s around $3.7 million a year. Physical single sales were in decline anyway, digital downloads just finished them off.
The local legal
download market has gained major momentum with
finally launching its two million song
iTunes store in December 2006, giving the local market access the same
features, pricing and seamless integration with the iPod, that made
iTunes the most popular music jukebox and online music store worldwide.
Meanwhile the Copyright (New Technologies and Performers' Rights) Amendment Bill passed in late 2007 (but still awaiting the final stamp of approval) clarifies that music lovers can copy songs across formats once for personal use, if they keep hold of the original. However there is an ‘opt out’ option for copyright holders to prevent even that happening. Copying borrowed or rented CDs remains illegal as does making copies for friends.
The previous law allowed video taping from TV but only if programmes were kept for “no longer than is necessary for viewing…at a more convenient time”. Copying DVDs or videotapes to devices such as an iPod is illegal.
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