One in Three Is A Music Pirate

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A report just published by the market research firm Interpret has tapped into the downloading habits of a massive 64 million respondents. From this group, well over a third admitted to downloading music illegally through file-sharing networks and BitTorrent, but that doesn't mean they don't buy any music.

interpretStudies on the prevalence of illegal downloading, especially those targeted at music downloads, are nothing new. However, a study with more than 60 million participants is quite unique and will come closer to the truth than the average online poll.

Interpret, a market research firm focused on entertainment, media and technology has just published the results of a massive survey on illegal music downloads, covering 64 million people. Of this group 24 million respondents (36%) admitted that they had downloaded music illegally in the past three months.

An impressive figure to say the least, indicating that the RIAA, BPI and IFPI will seriously have to reconsider their current handling of the ‘piracy’ problem. Spending millions of dollars on developing new business models instead of paying lawyers might be a good start. Interpret’s findings may be helpful in this.

The goal of the report was to find out if people who download from BitTorrent and other file-sharing networks are also paying to download music. And indeed, it turns out that some ‘pirates’ are also paying for downloads through iTunes or other web stores.

The results show that 9 percent of music pirates have bought a full album online in the past three months. Downloading individual songs is even more popular in this group, with 16 percent indicating that they paid to download an individual song recently.

What struck us at TorrentFreak was that nearly half (49%) of all music pirates said that downloading music should be cheaper than buying a disc. This means that 51% are fine with the current price point of legal downloads. This is an odd finding to say the least.

Unfortunately, Interpret’s report doesn’t provide any comparative data, so we can’t say anything about how the group of music pirates does compared to the rest of the public. However, it wouldn’t surprise us if on average this group is spending more on music than the average customer.


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