Unformatted text preview: LearnEnglish Professionals MUSIC BUSINESS AUDIOSCRIPT Listen to two people discussing changes in the music industry. Optional exercise Decide which of these is the best summary of what you hear. (Answer below) A These are interesting times f or the music industry. Sales of CDs are down and huge numbers of songs are shared illegally on the internet. There is howev er optimism f or the f uture. Ringtones are a model of how things can be successf ully sold digitally and there are new models of selling music. B These are interesting times f or the music industry. The f all in CD sales and the f all in demand f or music means that the music business has serious problems. The market f or mobile phone ringtones is a v ery big one but it is unlikely that music can be sold the same way. People will still buy CDs but the market will continue to get smaller. C These are interesting times f or the music industry. Falling CD sales are driving companies out of business. Music companies hav e to find new business models to meet changes in the market. Young people spend more money on ringtones than music and the music business can’t catch up while filesharing becomes increasingly popular. P = Presenter P: There’s said to be an old Chinese curse – ‘May you live in interesting times’. W ell, these are certainly interesting times f or the music industry. CD sales are down by almost 20% this year, the major chain of stores Tower Records went bankrupt earlier this year and there are constant gloomy predictions that the rise and rise of ‘filesharing’ – people illegally sharing music ov er the internet – will f orce many companies involv ed in the production and sale of music out of business. I’m joined in the studio by Peter O’Neill, who writes a popular blog about the business of making and selling music (pause) Peter, is this the end for the music business? Peter: No, in a word. I think we need to say that the death of the music industry has been greatly exaggerated. I think there has nev er been as much demand as there is now f or consuming music – and people are getting music in many diff erent ways. The challenge f or the big companies in the music business is to try and understand the changes that are taking place and come up with a new business model. If they can do that, I think there are very exciting times ahead. P: W ell, I don’t want to contradict you but let’s look at some of the statistics around filesharing. An estimated 12 billion songs were swapped or illegally downloaded last year with an estimated loss of £325 million f or British record companies. A European surv ey said 34% of 15 to 24 year olds had no idea of music as something you paid f or. That, to me, looks like very bad news f or the music companies. Peter: Ah – but I think that’s because the record companies hav e been very slow in finding ways to sell music in the ways that young people will buy it. Those same 15 to 24 year olds who hav e never imagined buying music are the people who pay £2.50 f or a ringtone f or their mobile phone. Ringtones went f rom nothing to a multibillion pound business in a very short space of time – because people could buy them instantly – it’s a v ery easy process. And music sales are catching up. It’s becoming very quick and easy to buy a song you want – on your computer or on your mobile or whatev er. And lev els of file sharing are remaining steady, not going up. P: But .. Peter: One more point. Last year the Arctic Monkeys released the f astest selling debut album ever. If record shops are dead – how did they manage to do that? Well, they made some of their songs av ailable f or f ree on the internet. People shared those songs and passed them on to friends and it all helped create a very positive ‘buzz’ about the Arctic Monkeys and when they released their record people wanted to buy it. That’s the sort of model the music business has to look at. Answer : A www.br itishc ouncil.or g/pr of essionals.htm © The British Council, 2007 The United Kingdom’s in ternational orga nisation for educational opportunities and cu ltural relations. W e are registered in England as a charity. ...
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