Entertainment industry unharmed by digital piracy

New research conducted by the London School of Economics seems to suggest that the movie and music industries have been considerably exaggerating the impact made on their bottom line by digital file sharing and that revenues might actually be being boosted for many creative industries by copyright infringement.

Researchers in the media department at the British university examined sales data and discovered that the gaming, movie, publishing and music industries are all growing and beginning to adopt new business models based upon digital sharing.  They discovered that internet based revenues have become a big component in the growth of the music industry since 2004, with the industry slowly beginning to adopt distribution methods and consuming content modeled on file sharing services and websites such as Pirate Bay, BitTorrent and the now defunct Napster, which was the pioneer of music file sharing back in the 1990s.

Although sales have stagnated in the last few years, the report points out that overall the revenue of the music industry in 2011 was $60 billion and that worldwide sales of recorded music actually increased last year for the first time in 13 years, with as much as 34% of revenues coming from digital channels such as downloads and streaming.

“The music industry may be stagnating, but the drastic decline in revenues warned of by the lobby associations of record labels is not in evidence,” the report states, adding that growth could have occurred earlier had the record companies not initially resisted the digital environment.