Saturday, 3 October 2009

A year long project tracking music related purchases

There are lots of claims made about how damaging piracy is. The music industry and the groups which represent it, like the BPI, tend to claim that filesharing damages the industry and prevents artists from getting paid or making a living. The recent rant by Lily Allen is an example of how artists are rallying under the BPI's lobbying. Many of these claims are based on dodgy 'facts' and figures - something I touched in a recent post.

There are other studies which point in the opposite direction - that filesharers tend to spend more money on average than non-filesharers. A report by PRS recently showed that spending on music in the UK had actually increased. Inspired by this claim I thought I'd do a little experiment and track my annual spend on music and music related activities.

I'm going to have set a few ground rules. It's relatively easy to keep track of traditional sales like CD purchases but I think tend to spend a lot more money on live music and that brings with it a whole series of indirect costs which contribute to the music experience. Of course, I'm talking about booze (!), without which the experience is less, ahem, enhanced. So, I'm going to include alcohol expenditure as part of the experiment where appropriate. I'm also going to include video games that are music-based, such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

I've been thinking about doing this for a while and I've started going through last month's spending. I'm going to share this data via Google Docs on a monthly basis. This is where you can find the most recent data.

Currently, September looks like a big month with a total spend of over £670 but that is mainly due to attending a music festival (Bestival) and buying a music-based video game (Guitar Hero). This type of cost is not a typical monthly spend!

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