[rumori] Industry says drop in sales shows Napster damage


From: Every Man (every.manATpressthebutton.com)
Date: Sun Feb 25 2001 - 19:48:50 PST


Industry says drop in sales shows Napster damage
LOS ANGELES (AP) Sales of CD singles plummeted last year, and recording
industry officials say the figures prove that Napster, the Internet
music-swapping service, has cut into their business.
Shipments of CD singles sank by 39% last year, according to data released
by the Recording Industry Association of America.
"Napster hurt record sales," said RIAA president Hilary Rosen.
A federal court ruled this month that the service helped users violate
music copyright laws. Financial penalties and an injunction have placed the
future of the popular service in question.
Napster chief executive Hank Barry said the association is twisting the
data to support the recording industry's claim that they have suffered
"irreparable harm" at the hands of Napster users.
"In order to argue we've done irreparable harm, it would be great if there
were some irreparable harm to show," he said. "We haven't seen a credible
survey yet that suggests Napster is hurting CD sales."
Last week, music executives shook off Napster's offer to settle a copyright
infringement lawsuit, saying it didn't offer a viable business model and
failed to address concerns over the security of online music.
Some experts trace the drop in the sale of singles to the record companies
themselves.
Singles, a mainstay of the industry in the 1950s and 60s, have fallen out
of favor as a tool to inflate sales figures and influence radio
programming, said Roy Lott, president of EMI Group's Capitol label. Even
so, Napster is the "prime culprit" for the drop in sales, he said.
Industry analysts said the drop in sales can be attributed to a number of
factors, including economic factors and a weak year for music releases.
"To be honest, it wasn't a great music year," said Andreas Schmidt, chief
of the e-commerce group at Bertelsmann, which has a financial stake in
Napster. "There were some isolated events, but we didn't put that much good
stuff out."

Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not
be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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