Survey Shows Huge Demand for Legal P2P

A recent study on the music consumption habits of today's youth shows that most of them download music illegally. However, music is more popular than ever and 80 percent of the participants indicate that they would pay for a legal filesharing service, if only one was available.

The survey, conducted by British Music Rights among 773 British respondents between the age of 14-24, shows some interesting results. The survey tapped into the music consumption habits of young people and results suggest that most of them would be interested in paying for a decent “legal” filesharing service.

Technology has made it easier for everyone to enjoy, and share music. The Internet has changed the way people interact with music. Sites like OiNK made it easy to find and share virtually every piece of music ever produced. Services like last.fm made it easy to discover new artists and interact with other fans.

Music might be more popular than ever among today’s youth. Indeed, the survey shows that the vast majority of the younger generation owns an MP3 player nowadays, including up to 93% of 14-17 year olds. If people had to pick three items to take with them to a desert island, 73% would take their music collection.

For most participants these music collections are acquired illegally, as the study shows that 63% – nearly two-thirds of the respondents – use filesharing services to download copyrighted music. On average they download 53 tracks a month, but some of the heavy downloaders say they download up to 5,000 tracks a month.

The average MP3 collection contains 1,770 tracks but some contained as many as
75,000. The average size of the music collection does not differ among age groups but there is a huge different in the proportion of pirated vs. paid music. The younger participants, aged 14-17, indicated that over 60% of their collection consisted of pirated music, compared to 13% for the age group 25 and up.

The survey also explored whether people would be interested in paid filesharing services that offer licensed tracks. Of all the participants, 73% said they would be interested in such a service and that figure went up to 80% for the people who already use filesharing services.

The respondents indicated that they are most interested in “download to own” services, streaming services are less popular with only 35% expressing an interest. The study further shows that people would continue to buy CDs and visit concerts if they were allowed to share legally, mostly because they want to support certain artists.

British Music Right Concludes from their survey: “There is a terrific opportunity for the music industry to grasp right now. This survey shows just how much respondents love and value music, and
highlights that a significant amount of that value is currently unmonetised.”

We couldn’t agree more with this conclusion, as we have said time and time again. The Internet and filesharing technologies make it possible to make production (of the copies) and distribution costs disappear, yet the prices still don’t change. Why? Because the industry insists on clinging onto its old business models.

The music industry should focus on monetizing filesharing networks instead of bringing them down. Sharing is a good thing and there are tons of possibilities to profit from it.

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