14-24 Year Olds Pirate 8,000 Music Tracks Each

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New research carried out by the University of Hertfordshire reveals some shocking and some surprising statistics. The survey, carried out on behalf of UK Music, reveals that 61% of 14 to 24 year-olds use file-sharing networks, with each amassing an average of 8,000 tracks on their computers.

UK MusicUK Music is an umbrella organization representing the interests of various elements of the UK music industry, from artists through to record labels, publishers, producers and collecting societies and counts the BPI among its members.

A new study carried out by the University of Hertfordshire for UK Music reveals some interesting statistics – and some surprising ones.

Of those questioned in the 14 to 24 year old bracket, it was revealed that on average they have amassed music collections on their computers which exceed 8,100 tracks, an amount that most people could never afford. Little wonder that 68% of respondents said that they use their computers every day to listen to music.

From the 1,808 people surveyed, 61% admitted to downloading music using P2P networks including BitTorrent with 83% of these admitted doing so on a weekly or daily basis. A significant 86% admitted that they had copied CDs for their friends.

While many admitted uploading using P2P, other methods of sharing were also utilized – 75% admitted to sending music by email, instant messaging services or Bluetooth.

Of those who admitted using P2P to obtain music, 85% said they would welcome an “all you can eat” download service for a fixed monthly fee, but just 57% said that access to such a service would stop them from illegally sharing files.

In recent months, streaming services such as Spotify have been touted as a possible weapon to combat illicit sharing. However, of those surveyed for this report, 78% said they had no interest in paying for such a service, while 89% said they would prefer to own music, rather than stream it.

More than half of those surveyed said that companies that manufacture digital music players and mobile phones should pay fees to artists to compensate them from losses due to copies made on their devices.

UK Music CEO, Feargal Sharkey commented: “Clearly, the shape of our entire business will continue to evolve. However, we will achieve nothing if we do not work with music fans, and young music fans in particular. They are hugely demanding in their needs, but collectively we must rise to that challenge. We ignore engagement at our peril. That message is loud and clear.”

Strangely, in this world of 8,000 track hard drive music collections and the rampant uptake of digital music players, 77% of those surveyed said they would carry on buying physical CD albums even if they were subscribing to an “all you can eat” download service.

Getting paid twice for the same music, digital and physical? Sounds like a model the music business can get excited over, although in reality no-one else will. We’ve all been down that route before with the industry, one way or another.


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