Teens shift from file sharing to music streaming

By on July 13, 2009, 6:22 PM
Illegal file-sharing has fallen dramatically in the past months, according to media and technology researchers at Music Ally and The Leading Question. The drop is particularly significant among teens in the 14-18 age group, where illegal file-sharing has declined from 42 percent in December of 2007 to 26 percent this January. But that doesnít necessarily mean that they are turning to iTunes or any other a-la-carte music service en masse.

The study of 1,000 music fans shows that 65 percent are now streaming music through services such as Spotify or YouTube, with 31 percent of 14 to 18 year-olds visiting these sites on a daily basis compared with 18 percent for music fans overall. Researchers also found that teenagers are now more likely to share music via Bluetooth or by burning CDs, meaning music file sharing isnít disappearing, itís just changing Ė in this case to avoid ending up on the wrong side of traffic monitoring initiatives.

Itís worth mentioning that the study was conducted in the U.K. so the same data might not accurately apply to users in the U.S. Nevertheless, the findings are somewhat encouraging for those of us who think piracy is better fought with compelling new services rather than scare tactics and lawsuits. The challenge, of course, is to make these services profitable for artists and fair to users.




User Comments: 15

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LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

Nice find. I can see this happening over the big pond, not here in the U.S though. How many articles have been post here on TS about lawsuits on the Eastern part of the world, many I guess, its safer for them. I have no problems with file sharing personally. I also agree and like the thought of streaming music could be more beneficial than lawsuits and government scare tactics.

Twister123 Twister123 said:

it sad but true , to read , "its safer for them" but mabe the kids want to see the "new video" as much as hear the music ,and it surprising the amount of music on utube, all kinds , and of course the latest one

mrturtle said:

Plus if it's high quality, I can still download it and have it as an MP3 or whatever without the dammed RIAA knowing.

The RIAA are terrorists, why? Because they don't actually make a huge amount of money from the large majority of their lawsuits, but it also puts enough fear of legal reprisals into some people to not file share. Therefore they are using terror to control the actions of people, and that's just not cricket!

And before any one states that file sharing is illegal, I already know that. The music indusry should have stopped being a dinosaur and evolved into a mamal instead of fighting tooth and claw to keep it's scales (or in this case seling overpriced corporate hell pop cd's).

gobbybobby said:

I have gone a week without downloading anything illegally! Been using spotify for music. It won't last. I want photoshop and don't want to have to pay £953.35 RIP OFF.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I just use playlist.com

It's free, I have hours of music on my playlists, and I love it.

windmill007 said:

Ya we need something like this in the USA and make it have a mobile app for your blackberry and iphone. Also would be cool if you could download it to mp3 players somehow. Then no one would need file sharing services

peacefulchaos said:

YouTube's quality for most music is horrible IMHO. I stick with Pandora for my music listening needs and good 'ol cds I've bought and ripped. With the legal battles I've heard about lately, it's not really worth it to me to pirate.

peacefulchaos said:

Twister123 said:

.....and it surprising the amount of music on utube....

I would watch how you spell that next time. :P

Guest said:

The last 18 months maybe, I've just been lazily using YouTube as a sort of poor man's music player, rather than go to the bother of downloading *cough* music. I often find myself just using YouTube rather than opening foobar2000, even for music I already have on my PC.

I think the biggest threat to the RIAA isn't even so much piracy, as the fact that music doesn't seem to be as big a deal as it once was. Same deal for the MPAA. Back in the 90's when I was a teenager, PCs weren't very exciting, there was no mainstream Internet until the end of the decade, and when it did arrive in the average household, it really was pretty basic (no web 2.0, streaming media, social networking sites, etc.). Kids used to hang out after school in each others' living rooms listening to CDs or watching MTV. The 00's generation spend their free time on Facebook, Twitter, MSN, Stickam, YouTube, and so on. Music has been reduced to background noise.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

"Music has been reduced to background noise." Agreed...

And it doesn't help that most music these days is absolute crap. Coldplay? Puh-lease - that's elevator music. Disturbed? Every album sounds exactly the same. Beyonce? You could mix her music with ten other "Pop Diva's" and couldn't tell the difference between one song from the next.

I'm anxiously awaiting the next Kurt Cobain to show up, break the current music stagnation and bring us some good tunes.

Twister123 Twister123 said:

I would watch how you spell that next time. :P

what youtube ! whats the diff!

peacefulchaos said:

Twister123 said:

I would watch how you spell that next time. :P

what youtube ! whats the diff!

There is a big difference is where the sites take you. Just saying.

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

"Music has been reduced to background noise." Agreed...

And it doesn't help that most music these days is absolute crap. Coldplay? Puh-lease - that's elevator music. Disturbed? Every album sounds exactly the same. Beyonce? You could mix her music with ten other "Pop Diva's" and couldn't tell the difference between one song from the next.

I'm anxiously awaiting the next Kurt Cobain to show up, break the current music stagnation and bring us some good tunes.

Maybe you should go dig up your old Nirvana casettes then, 'cause all that stuff you listed is a terrible representation of today's music, it's all mainstream. If you want to find the good stuff you gotta go underground.

As for downloading, the Blogs got me covered

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I listen to Pandora Radio all day at work. You can't pick specific songs, but I have found a lot of new songs I like, and have several station adjusted to play music I like, just play whatever station matches my mood that day. Although, I have download several new songs I came across on Pandora :P

Also I believe you can get them on your iPhone or Blackberry.

Guest said:

Bull* on the bluetooth sharing. Bluetooth is too slow for 5 meg files. It's easier to just trade memory cards and dump to onboard memory to swap music or more often random sound files.

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