Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Mexican group "El Tri" to "keep on rocking" depite being dropped by label due to piracy losses

Something that has always been missing from the disscussion of P2P filesharing and the effect it has on the music industry is how it actually effects the artists themselves. Recording companies know that the public is going to have very little sympathy for them, as corporations that make hundreds of millions or billions of dollars charging $20 a pop for (often crappy) CDs. Typically the music industry trots out it's artists who it claims are really getting shafted. This is probably true for groups like Metallica and Madonna, since they own their own labels and have been around for so long that they have completed their original contracts and renegotiated them.

The fact is though, that most music artists make only pennies for each CD sale. Artists really make the vast majority of their pay from concerts. The LA Times has an article today about how the Mexican music industry has been especially hard hit by piracy, Mexico now ranks #3 in the world for piracy sales, behind only China and Russia. Some labels have even been letting go of popular groups because they aren't making money on CDs anymore.

The very popular Mexican group El Tri is one such group. But, they say:

...the band's main source of income has always come from performing about 250 live shows a year, something that even Mexico's powerful pirates can't take away.

"The commercial [recording industry] may disappear," said Lora, whose group recently celebrated 35 years together. "But we're going to keep rocking."

So, I am not a proponent of copying music illegally but I always look with suspicion when artists themselves say they are losing money because of piracy. For the most part that just isn't true. What the recording companies provide for these groups is marketing and distribution, and they are the big losers from pirating, not the bands.

LA Times article here.


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