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Illegal File-Sharers Spend Most Money On Downloads

November 2, 2009

A survey has found that people who download music illegally also spend an average of $50 dollars a year buying it legitimately, BBC News reported.

Meanwhile, those who said they do not to use peer-to-peer file-sharing sites such as The Pirate Bay spent a yearly average of just $27.

Among people between the ages of 16 and 50, almost one in 10 said they downloaded music illegally. However, eight out of 10 of that group also bought CDs, vinyl and MP3s.

The online poll, commissioned by researchers Demos, surveyed a total of 1008 people in the UK and found that half the group accessed music officially via YouTube, and 22 percent listened to Internet radio.

Only 4 percent of those surveyed said they used the file-sharing site Napster, with 21 percent saying they had not heard of it.

Spotify, a music streaming service, was used by only 9 percent of the group, as most had not signed up for the paid-for premium service.

But Spotify was highly rated for being easy to use, convenient and providing access to a wide variety of music.

Among 16-24 year olds, 75 percent said they were prepared to pay for MP3s, but only 2 percent said they would pay more than $1 for a song.

Demos researcher Peter Bradwell said politicians and music companies must recognize that the nature of music consumption has changed and consumers are demanding lower prices and easier access to music.

Later this month, British parliament is preparing to submit the newly drafted Digital Economy bill, which proposes disconnecting file-sharers who repeatedly break the law.

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said the scale of unlawful file-sharing poses a real threat to the long-term sustainability of their creative industries.

The spokesman suggested that surveys asking people about unlawful behavior should be treated with caution.

However, he was encouraged that the findings signaled that the three-pronged approach set out by the Government this week provides the best way forward for industry and consumers.

The approach is made up of a mix of education, enforcement and attractive new commercial deals.

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