Despite Numerous Legal Choices, Music Industry Still Blames Piracy For Its Woes

Years ago, the music industry could have blamed falling album sales on piracy. “Nobody’s buying the latest Chingy because they’re just downloading a 128CBR rip from Suprnova~!” What’s the excuse now when people have loads of legitimate digital options—iTunes, Zune, Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, etc.—at their fingertips? Oh, right: it’s still piracy. Please update your act.

The numbers are pretty dire for the music industry.

Album sales this past week were a paltry 4.95m units sold. That’s the lowest number on record.

Sales are down 12 percent for the year, too.

Digital album sales, while steadily increasing, haven’t made up the difference.

Perhaps that’s because: why should I buy an album when I can merely listen to the song I want, when I want with Spotify?

Of course, piracy is the boogie man here, with the IFPI claiming [PDF] that for every legal download there’s 20 illegal downloads. Seeing as though it’s nigh impossible to accurately track such numbers, well, I patently don’t believe it.

No matter: enjoy your legal digital music choices in 2010 while the record labels continue to use 2002 rhetoric.