The Indonesian music recording industry said last week that it suffers losses of Rp 16 billion (US$1.7 million) a day due to illegal downloads. The Indonesian Record Industry Association (ASIRI) said that they believe at least 6 million Indonesians illegally file share music on the web. That figure sounds like an estimate based on the price of the genuine product, and we all know that such numbers are suspect.
But they also added that genuine sales of CDs have plummeted from 90 million per year some years back to only 11 million a year now. What that means is that nearly 80 million purchases a year are no longer being made. Online music distribution is still very limited, so the assumption that vast numbers of illegal downloads are being made and that tens of millions are by people who used to buy and could afford CDs does seem accurate.
The lack of legitimate digital distribution in emerging markets is often far more debilitating than in the US and Europe. Local artists will be suffering the most.