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Research firm attacks music industry downloading myth

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 27 Jul 2005 12:04 User comments (34)

Research firm attacks music industry downloading myth From listening to the claims from the music industry for the past few years, it is easy to get an impression that all file sharers are thieves hell-bent on the destruction of the music industry and breaking of the law but a research firm has found that this is quite different in reality. The Leading Question found that music downloaders who share music files also are big spenders on legal music downloads. In fact, according to the firm, they spend on average 4 and a half times more on legal downloads than other users.
The music industry seems to send out a message that file sharers are the bad guys but iTunes customers (and customers of the many other download stores) are the good guys. It seems they completely forget about people who both buy and share. The report from the firm suggests that the music industry stops taking legal action and starts focusing on enticing file sharers to use legal alternatives.

The report found that the average user of legal sites who do not download unlicensed music spend an average of about 1.27 a month downloading music. However, those users who do download unlicensed music spend an average of 5.52 a month. "The research clearly shows that music fans who break piracy laws are highly valuable customers," said Paul Brindley, director of The Leading Question. "It also points out that they are eager to adopt legitimate music services in the future. There's a myth that all illegal downloaders are mercenaries hell-bent on breaking the law in pursuit of free music."

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) welcomed the findings but don't appear to want to change their way of dealing with the situation just yet. "It's encouraging that many illegal file-sharers are starting to use legal services," said BPI spokesman Matt Philips. "But our concern is that file-sharers' expenditure on music overall is down, a fact borne out by study after study. The consensus among independent research is that a third of illegal file-sharers may buy more music and around two thirds buy less. That two-thirds tends to include people who were the heaviest buyers which is why we need to continue our carrot and stick approach to the problem of illegal file-sharing,"

BBC News

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34 user comments

127.7.2005 12:54


227.7.2005 13:06

what good does this do? Well, due to the R$AA thinking etc. it does us (the legit people) no good. Prices of legal music will stay the same or increase and more people will continue to get sued. Its a never ending cycle.

327.7.2005 13:07

Just shows how flawed the music industry's methods are and that they never listen to reason. They keep saying sales go down because of piracy, but it never occurs to them that suing their best customers might have something to do with it.

427.7.2005 13:09

Sorry people, second post edited. (Duplicate of the 1st one)

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 27 Jul 2005 @ 13:12

527.7.2005 14:09

Any correlation between this and the latest headlines about SONY and other record companies being sued for paying for radio to play their music? They aren't making cash if they cant control wether you listen to the next Backdoor Boys album or not.

627.7.2005 16:13

Bleh =P

727.7.2005 19:42

I have bought too many cd's of bands I've heard on the radio, only to find out that was the only good song. I now use download sites as research to see if the next cd I buy is worth my $17.99. If it is, I buy it.

827.7.2005 23:27

FUC|< the music industry. If I respect the Artist, I buy the album from them in supporting their work, not their contracts.

928.7.2005 7:04

At least I don't buy any music because I can download it for free. Although I don't listen to music that much, just old offspring, beastie boys and run dmc albums.

1028.7.2005 7:45

I dont have a problem buying something if I like it.But most often I download things I already bought.I dont owe it to these companys to buy a new cd every time its broken or lost - whatever.

1128.7.2005 12:56

So let me get this straight...... Quote: "....It's encouraging that many illegal file-sharers are starting to use legal services" Fact: what the article said was NOT 'illegal' file sharers were switching to 'legal' music, what the study reported was that 'illegal' files sharers BUY MORE 'LEGAL' music Quote: "....our concern is that file-sharers' expenditure on music overall is down.." Fact: What they are saying is that they are upset that 'legal' consumers are not parting with their hard earned cash as much as they did in the past Myth: Profits are down....Sales are down...can't be us....must be people stealing! Reality: Economy is slow... people losing/lost jobs... money is oriented music has been overwhelmingly replaced by pop/teenie boppers (more Britany Spears types than Adult Oriented music types)...Music quality of a whole CD is down (as stated how many times have we found only ONE or TWO good songs on a whole CD of 15 songs!).... Adults make more money than kids.... Adult choices are down...Sales are down... Piracy is less of an issue than they make it out to be. People have always shared songs with friends, recorded songs of the radio.. and generally those whol like the songs buy them. Those that don't buy them probably wouldn't anyways so the percieved 'loss' is only that...percieved!

1228.7.2005 13:55

AHOY MATEYS!! AAAAARRRRRGGGHH! I got me new music 2 download.

1331.7.2005 17:43

This is the same old rag that the music industry keeps trotting out every time there has been any new technology. For example, when cassette tapes first came out, they cried that they needed to control it's use. If not they would "...lose money" (how you can lose something that doesn't belong to you is beyond me). Then CD burners ... same thing. Now the internet. They will continue to complain about the internet in an effort to convince people that needs to be controlled. Who should control it? Take a wild guess!

1431.7.2005 17:49

I find it interesting too that the media business is one of the few "Buyer Beware: industries and gets away with it. If I buy a movie or CD I don;t like I can't return it. Maybe if I caused a really big fuss at the store but as a rule of thumb that is not the case. Same thing with movies. I can't hit the theater and see a movie that I end up hating and expect a refund every time. It's all a sham and I think a lot of people are sick of it. I know I am, for the same reasons above, one good song on a CD, or one good scene from a movie shown in a commercial that doesn't amount to crap. I tell everyoen one something, and I am sure some "execs" have to read these post or have someone bring them the highlights. I PROMISE I WILL NEVER DOWNLOAD A MOVIE, SONG OR CD AGAIN IF YOU OFFER ME RECOURSE FOR SOMETHING I REALLY HATE. I WILL EVEN FILL OUT A FORM OR SURVEY EVERYTIME TELLIGN YOU WHY I HATE IT. Honest. I will. But that is never gonna happen will it. Once you break the preverbial seal all you cna do is get a exchange or at best maybe some in store credit, but you can't keep doin git or the store will not service you.

1531.7.2005 20:17

How about a refund on all the disks use by non music personel. I think the music industry could give a little leeway as they have a free source here and no music is involved as how many of these discs are actually used for music. my bet is less than 1 quarter of the disc's sold on the market. Who is the real thief here.

1631.7.2005 21:47

I'm willing to play by any set of rules you want. I just want to know what they are befor we start the game. When I buy that music CD, what am I paying for? The CD or the rights to the music on it. If I'm paying for the CD then I should be able to do what I want to with it. If I'm paying for them music, then the producers should replace the CD when it gets scratched or broken or melted in the front seat of the car (Oh, I wouldn't mind a fee for the new disk, like a buck or two)But the music industry wants it both ways. The've taken all rights away from the consumer. It's not my CD to do with as I want, and it's not their CD to stand behind. Personaly I've refused to purchase any music CDs since this whold RIAA mess started, and I won't untill it's settled, I still have my radio, untill they figure a way of controling that.

1731.7.2005 22:05

I do not buy music or movies or go to the theatre anymore. Since the RIAA and the MPAA likes to sue 12 year old girls, 85 year old women who don't even have computers, and even dead people.. They are going to have to get their next Lamborgini without my help... Before anyone says that not buying their products will hurt the little guy, remember that the entertainment industry loves to call for a boycott against any industry that doesn't fit their view of how the world should be and they do not care how many "little people" get ran over in the process.....Besides, my life is not dependant on the entertainment industry, but their's is dependant on people such as me.....

1831.7.2005 23:00

How often I have stated this I have no idea but: The record industry don't care on iota about anything except controlling music distribution. Their profits exist purely because they had total control over distribution. Till recently independent artists had no real practical way of getting thier product on the store shelves, let alone air time. They, through their parent companies, also control most media where music can be played. The internet threatens them with loss of contol over distribution, sales and airplay. To protect that near monopoly they will say and do anything to disgrace any opposition. Alan Freed, the record industry's first victim, RIP

191.8.2005 6:00

I agree with what most of the other posters said and would like to add the following comments: - Some stores DO let you listen to a song on a cd before you buy it. - When I hear a new song on the radio that I like, I may download it to see if I really do like it and if I do, I am SO picky that most of the MP3 downloads on the net are NOT good enough for me so I HAVE to buy the cd anyway. - Since nobody else has mentioned it here, I will: why can't they make better cd wrappers, so you can OPEN them more easily? Maybe people would buy more cds if they could open the DAMN things!!! - STOP blaming the music industry if you can't say NO to the latest load of tripe from Britney Spears or whoever. WE, the music listeners of the world CONTROL the music industry, NOT the other way around. - The music companies should offer people a way to download ANY song for $1, NOT just the ones in demand that month or over the last six months. I want ALL music available on the net for PAID download, but it has to be in 256K and 44Khz or better digital quality. Pricing should be $1 no matter WHAT it costs them to make it, since it probably is an expense they can write off anyway. - Why is a new cd 17.99 NOW and $9.99 next month? PURE GREED! If it's worth $9.99 next month, then it's worth $9.99 NOW. Plain and simple. Stop charging us more for BS lame excuses like the cost of living has gone up for a music company. We pay HIGHER costs of living than you do, so learn to keep your prices CONSISTENT or get out of the business. Sorry for the rant. No offense :)

201.8.2005 7:00

I am like a few other people who don't buy or listen to a lot of music but feel that the consumer is getting a raw deal everywhere. How can the music industry justify that their "profits are down" when the technology for them making cd's and consumables is pretty much pennies ? I'm sure if the price for legal downloads was a reasonable price across the world were the same they would have a lot more people using their service. e.g. It is recently that UK and the US download prices were brought into line with each other .. at one point you paid nearly double in the UK compared to the US for the same track. Even when you travel through customs at airports, ferry terminals the prices are generally cheaper than in the high street...if they can do it why can't others ??

211.8.2005 7:02

221.8.2005 7:12

.... hit the wrong key, anyway.... what did they music industry do before the internet ? Did they stop the sale of blank cassette tapes ?? .... NO !! Did they sue anyone recording music of the radio/television ?? .... NO !! That brings me back to .. We, the buying public globally, were the people that made these companies what they are today. Now they are greedy for more money than ever to line there pockets with. It's no wonder sales are down if they put prices up higher than the rate that everyone's salaries are going up by.... but they make sure they gets their wage rise or bonus !!

231.8.2005 8:43

A Little history on the actions taken by the recording industry. When Radio was created they screamed that they will lose money and go broke. They struck a deal with radio stations having to pay a royalty on every record played.Oh record sales went through the roof but the royalty payment continued. When the majo record companies missed the R&R revolution of the 50's they quickly accused the independent companies of paying DJ's to play thier records, something they had been doing for years. Alan Freed (Mr R&R) confessed to accepting "Payola" after being promised nothing would happen. They lied and he was banned from braodcasting. Radio stations got the jitters and stopped playing indie records. The majors snapped up the indies at bargain basement prices and killed off R&R (The day the music died)and regained control of the market. Chuck berry out, Frankie Avalon in. When audio cassetts came to the market the record industry tried everything to have them banned from sale, lobbying heavily to get the US government to pass legislation. (The Supreme court eventually ruled them legal as part of the so called Betamax decision. When Digital Tape (DAT) came onto the market the record industry were sucessfull in killing the whole technology dead. They have a history of doing everything they can to keep power. And here we are again only this time it's the net. Same bullshit from them, same motive. CONTROL. Have alook at and read her articles. 20 albums and not one penny in royalties.

241.8.2005 9:55

We most remember who is keeping the fires going. Lawyers are involved and they are making big money to keep this fight going. If it was settled, where would their next buck come from? Once lawyers get involved, the little guy gets hurt. Like mentioned earlier, children and old people are victims. It matters little to them who gets hurt. As long as they are making money. Thing about it, once they get involved in anything, the good people get hurt. It does not matter if it is civil or criminal cases, the victim loses.

251.8.2005 20:33

Good point about the lawyers, heard once U.S has 5% of the world's population and 95% of it's lawyers. Any money bandwagon they will jump on. It's our fault for producing so many!!!

262.8.2005 18:47

One way to reduce the number of lawyers needed is to reverse the way we think of law. We could easily just publish a journal listing what we can do rather than what we can't. A few pages should suffice.

272.8.2005 21:00

" One way to reduce the number of lawyers needed is to reverse the way we think of law. We could easily just publish a journal listing what we can do rather than what we can't. A few pages should suffice. " Listing the things we can do will probably take less than a page....Unless you are wealthy, a large company, or very well known, the laws will not work in your favor. Winona Ryder has shoplifted over $5,000 dollars in goods on three separate occasions,. That is $15,000 dollars plus total. Each crime is concidered a felony. Then there is the three strikes law that would put anyone away for a long, long time. All she got was community service...Anyone else would have been put so far behind bars that they would have to pump air to them... Many well known or powerfull people have been caught committing many types of crimes without being held too responsible for their actions. This law that you speak about is applied differently for different people. In Sacramento, California, an off duty policeman was driving while drunk, ran over and killed a 13 year old kid as the child was getting off a school bus, then he left the scene of the accident. Any other person would be arrested for felony manslaughter plus hit and run. He has been charged with accidental manslaughter so far. The district attourney and the police are softpeddling the whole situation and it wouldn't surprize me if he eventually gets off and receives a raise in pay...... The average file sharing offender will get a heavier punishment than a killer cop..laws are to keep the average person in their place and nothing else........

283.8.2005 23:58

The saddest thing, (and the problem itself, really) is that the music industries don't even care about all these problems. I bet if you told one of the higher-ups in the business about these things, then he would just laugh and ignore ya... unless he was on camera of course...

294.8.2005 5:14

There has got to be a book and/or movie in this. Anyone have a suggestion for a title?

304.8.2005 5:57

Just one off the top of my head: "Music, But More Importantly, Money" It's a little long though...

314.8.2005 10:32

How about "The Sound of Money" and a snippet of the theme song from said movie: "...our halls are alive...with the sound of moh ah ah ah ney....we'll make you a star...tell you what to play. Control is our game and control's our method. 'Cause if we loose control the end of music is near. So in case people don't buy, e-nough of our prah ah ah ah ducts....we'll sue them and infringe on their fair use rights" --or perhaps: Disney's: "RIAA and the Beast" the Bruce Willis action movie: "DIE or RIAA" (hehe) the new Johhny Depp movie: "Willy RIAA and the Music Factory" the remake starring Billy Bob Thornton "The Bad News RIAA" the Oscar winning: "The Fellowship of the RIAA" Wes Craven's: "Nightmare on RIAA Street" and finally: "Alien versus RIAA" (my money's on the Aliens though those RIAA's sure do put up a fight!)

324.8.2005 11:10

LOL, "Wes Craven's: "Nightmare on RIAA Street"" That's a good one! I'd use that one :D

334.8.2005 12:57

"There has got to be a book and/or movie in this. Anyone have a suggestion for a title?" Title.........'MONEY, HONEY" Subtitle......"I Got You..." Working title..." My way or no way..." Script title...."RI$$ Forever..., MP$$ Too"

344.8.2005 19:53

hehe, apparently, I had too much time on my hands earlier ;o)

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