IFPI Accidently Debunks Music Sales Claims for Canada?

New statistics from the copyright industry was released recently, but with all of the claims on how music sales are falling, comparing one statistic from Canada and one statistic from the global figures appears to have painted a very interesting new picture on the Canadian music marketplace for the copyright industry.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

The latest statistics were promoted by the IFPI and a copy of the claims were published on the CBC. In these statistics as selected by the copyright industry itself suggests that physical music sales – namely CDs and vinyl sales – fell by 15%. Meanwhile, digital music sales grew by 24%.

The copyright industry, for years, have been claiming continually that Canada’s digital music marketplace is out of date and weak. The blame has seemingly been placed on Canada’s copyright laws – hinting that without copyright laws, innovation would practically cease to exist in Canada. To date, the evidence that was put forth has fallen short on anything other than wild guessing as demonstrated by the statistics the last time the Canadian DMCA was introduced. So, if the claims are true this time around, comparing Canada’s music sales against the worlds music sales should back that up, right? After all, the copyright industry has been publishing these numbers themselves. It seems as though that is not the case.

According to statistics published by Nielson Soundscan and posted on in Michael Geist’s blog in January, physical music sales fell by 8.5% in both Canada and the United States. Not bad considering the global number was a fall of 15%. As for digital music sales, digital music sales in Canada grew by 69% – a number that makes the global music growth of 24% look very modest. Given that the continual claims by the copyright industry include that Canada is lagging behind all the other countries in terms of a digital market place, these statistics appear to say otherwise. It seems more likely that, at the absolute minimum, Canada is pushing the digital music sales growth higher and pushing the global physical sales loss to a smaller number more than half of the countries in the world.

So, on quick glance of the copyright industries own statistics, it seems that the claim that Canada is falling behind the other countries in the world has taken another credibility hit.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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