Media

Piracy no longer such a big deal to the record industry, tax filing shows

Image Credit: Shutterstock
NOTE: GrowthBeat tickets go up $200 this Friday at 5pm Pacific. VentureBeat is gathering the best and brightest in modern digital marketing to help declutter the landscape, simplify the functions, clarify the goals, and point the way to success. Get the full scoop here, and register by Friday to save!
The latest tax filing of the record industry’s anti-piracy lawsuit machine, the RIAA, reveals a group whose revenues are in deep decline and whose mandate may be wearing thin.
The filing, which Torrentfreak obtained, shows that the RIAA’s revenues are hitting record lows and that the group is collecting far less in membership dues from record labels than it once did.
The group’s revenues fell to $24.2 million, half of what it was collecting just four years ago. The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has raised its membership rates for labels at they same time that many labels have stopped paying.
This trend reflects a record industry that is focusing less on chasing pirates and coming to terms with new digital business models.
To keep its fiscal house in order, the RIAA has responded to declining membership and revenues by cutting staff and legal fees.
The RIAA says it spent about $2 million in outside legal fees over the past year. Contrast that with the $16 million it spent just four fiscal years ago.
The losses haven’t affected executive salaries much. Despite the rough times, the RIAA’s CEO, Cary Sherman, took $500,000 in bonuses during the period. That’s in addition to his million-dollar base salary.

Despite declining revenues, the RIAA is still fiscally healthy. The $170,000 loss it reported over the past year is easily offset by the group’s $14 million in total assets.

The losses are just the latest in a trend. Actually, this year’s losses are small relative to last year’s losses. The RIAA has been downsized, but it’s showing no signs of going away altogether.

The full 2012/2013 filing, obtained by TorrentFreak, is available here.

1 comments