May 21, 2004  ·  Lessig

There’s lots about the conflict between SoundScan’s reports about increasing album sales in the US, and the RIAA’s claim to have been hurt by “piracy.” This piece by Moses Avalon does a very nice job reconciling the numbers. Here’s a summary paragraph:

Forget the confusing percentages, here’s an oversimplified example: I shipped 1000 units last year and sold 700 of them. This year I sold 770 units but shipped only 930 units. I shipped 10% less units this year. And this is what the RIAA wants the public to accept as “a loss.”

  • Matthew Saroff

    Ummm…It should be noted that the numbers are an artifact of Walmart.

    Specifically, shipments are lower because of greater control of inventories, and greater ability to predict sales.

    This is what happens when WalMart style computerized inventories and shipping are implemented, and everyone has to move in that direction to compete.