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UK: Drop In Illegal Downloading By Young People

August 10, 2009

A new survey shows there has been a slight drop — from 63 percent last year to 61 percent this year — in the number of young people in the UK downloading music illegally, BBC News reported.

Also, some 85 percent of those surveyed that downloaded illegally said they would be willing to pay for an unlimited download service, according to the UK Music-commissioned study, now in its second year.

UK Music, a company that represents the British music industry, had the University of Hertfordshire survey some 1,808 14 to 24-year-olds from across the UK this spring. Last year’s survey research was based on 773 respondents.

They found that 61 percent of the 83 percent of respondents that illegally downloaded music did so on a daily or weekly basis.

Additionally, 77 percent of those who said they would pay for an unlimited mp3 download service, also said they would continue to buy CDs.

Meanwhile, 78 percent of respondents said they would not pay for a streaming service, such as Spotify.

“Over the past 12 months, the licensed digital music market has diversified enormously – epitomized by competition in the download market and the traction being gained by streaming services,” said UK Music chief executive Feargal Sharkey.

He believes that the shape of the entire business will continue to evolve, although nothing will be achieved if they don’t work together with young music fans.

The UK government will also be granting greater powers to media regulator Ofcom and Internet service providers to tackle illegal file-sharing, according to the Digital Britain report published in June.

Media regulators will now have the power to identify illegal downloaders and pursue a “write and sue” approach for the worst offenders, it said.

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