Echoing something most file sharers have claimed for a long time and several studies have brought to light, new research from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, has provided further evidence that there is in-fact a positive correlation between those that download music illegally and those that purchase music from a licensed outlet – essentially, those that download the most music also buy the most.
The name of the paper this research came out in was “Digital Music Consumption on the Internet: Evidence from Clickstream data,” with the goal to find out what effect, if any, illegal music downloads have on legitimate purchases. The ultimate conclusion, is that the effect is positive.
The study looked at 16,000 EU internet users and noted that of those that used illegal music download and sharing websites: “It seems that the majority of the music that is consumed illegally by the individuals in our sample would not have been purchased if illegal downloading websites were not available to them,.”
Streaming services were given a thumbs up in the study, which suggested that providing a legitimate option helped to bolster music sales further. Putting a figure on it, the study suggested streaming services boosted music sales by 7 per cent.
The most interesting result though was how illegal sites seemed to help stores too. That impact was less significant, but 2 per cent more music was said to be sold because illegal sharing sites were available.
It concludes by suggesting that online piracy is something the music industry shouldn’t worry about, as it’s not growing at any sort of exponential rate.
KitGuru Says: It’s good to see more research like this coming out. Someone that isn’t me, used to download a lot of movies. However, if you looked in his lounge, you’d find hundreds and hundreds of DVDs. The biggest media consumers do so legally and illegally. Any attempt to go after them in a court room or with threats, is an attack on a fan.