IRMA’s topsy turvy New Zealand stats

EMI Briefing 001

Mark Tighe of the Sunday Times recently put up links to two memos relating to Minister Sean Sherlock’s meetings with industry groups about the then-proposed SI, since signed into law. Here’s an extract from the one where he met Willie Kavanagh and Willie Ryan of IRMA, the group representing music labels in Ireland.

Though the two Willies attended, it was IRMA’s CEO Willie Kavanagh who appears from the memo to have done most of the talking.

We needn’t concern ourselves with the wider issues around this SI now. Rather I wanted to just look at this paragraph.

New Zealand had introduced a graduated response in September 2011 and it had turned around the music industry around. The use of bandwidth had reduced by 50% and music sales had increased by 30%.

The problem for Mr. Kavanagh’s position is that there doesn’t appear to be anything connecting the former (introducing a new law, described as a ‘graduated response’) with the latter.

Did bandwidth use fall by 50% in New Zealand after the September 2011 law? If it had, we would imagine that the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry- the global level version of IRMA- would have mentioned it when it wrote about New Zealand in January 2012.

Instead they say only that

“usage of P2P networks fell 16 per cent in the first three months of the law being in force.”

Use of specific P2P networks falling (however measured) is a long way from a broad statement that bandwidth use for a whole country fell. And 16% is a long way from 50%.

And as to the claim that music sales had increased by 30% between September 2011 and December 2011, well, I think we can concede that this is plausible but unlikely to be particularly connected to the new law.

Follow the purple section of the below chart. It shows music sales increase by approximately 20-30% in Q4 every year on iTunes.

It’s called Christmas.

1 comment for “IRMA’s topsy turvy New Zealand stats

  1. March 7, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    I wonder would the fact that most of New Zealand was out on the rip for the Rugby World Cup during September and October 2011 have had a bearing on the drop in internet usage during that period?

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