Study: Filesharers spend 30% more on music than non-P2P users

By on October 15, 2012, 5:00 PM

Despite being condemned as thieves by the recording industry, peer-to-peer users spend more money on music than non-filesharers, according to a new study by The American Assembly. Examining the music collection habits of respondents across the US and Germany, the report found that P2P users in both regions have libraries that are larger than non-P2P users -- 37% larger in the US and even more so in Germany.

This is hardly surprising as it's relatively easy to amass digital files from torrents, filelockers and copying data from friends and family. However, the research indicates that those who share music also purchase significantly more than their non-filesharing counterparts do. In the US, P2P users reportedly buy 30% more music than non-P2P users, while German filesharers purchase nearly three times more than non-filesharers.

The study also found that illegally downloaded music represents a relatively small part of users' collections. In the US, folks aged 18-29 pirated the most with about 21% of their music from illegitimate online sources. That number is roughly halved as you climb to higher age groups. Interestingly, young people in the US copy almost as much music from friends and family as they download for free, which raises additional questions about how effective bills such as SOPA would be at combating filesharing, as much of it occurs offline.

Current internet-based enforcement proposals, whether directed against P2P users or cyberlocker sites, do nothing to deter such copying -- in fact they're likely to increase it as people shift toward less exposed forms of exchange. Which raises an important question: will the major content companies be satisfied to leave this vast realm of private copying alone? By all appearances, the answer is no,  no, and no. And that's a problem. There is ultimately no 'solution' to copy culture that does not lead toward a wider war on general-purpose computing -- a lockdown of personal computing. --The American Assembly

The researchers conclude that if absolute spending is any indication, then P2P users value music more than non-P2P users and they're simply part of an ongoing shift toward universal access. The report notes that this change is no secret and the recording industry has been working toward commercializing the new demand via paid streaming services with some success: 29% of US respondents younger than 30 listen to most or all of their music through such streaming outfits, and 11% of them have paid subscriptions.




User Comments: 12

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ikesmasher said:

Yea but the media corporations still want more money, doesnt change that.

When is someone with some sort of moral standards or intelligence gonna rise up in these media companies?

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yea but the media corporations still want more money, doesnt change that.

When is someone with some sort of moral standards or intelligence gonna rise up in these media companies?

Well we can never know, if anyone does try to rise above the current, make money, satisfy the consumer later policy. Because as soon as someone steps up, the higher ups likely just can the poor sucker.

BlueDrake said:

Yea but the media corporations still want more money, doesnt change that.

When is someone with some sort of moral standards or intelligence gonna rise up in these media companies?

Chances of that? Very slim.. because ignorance breeds more ignorance in said companies. If only they would actually look at such studies, or actually do their own studies that are not biased. Problem is they'd rather take a biased stance on piracy, labeling it all as bad then let their death grip go.

They will silently admit people will do it legally when possible, but they don't want to openly admit such studies as this are true. Since it would mean everything from the past would crumble, at least in the normal sense they'd rather cling to old methods. Slap any piracy as bad and ruining an economy, then embrace it and see possible record sales skyrocket.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

It's always interesting how this kind of information is obtained :P

Guest said:

I won't argue with this at all. Normaly I download high bit rate mp3's. If I like the album I'll buy it for the higher quality. I really wish I could give my money directly to the artists. I guess going to concerts is the best I can do

wujj123456 said:

That's obvious, right? They say "you don't download rain", but obvioulsy I don't buy rain either. Only people care enough will download, and they are the customers or potential customers of the industry. Screw them up? Good luck for your business. People's creativity has spreaded all over the world now thanks to the Internet. It's not like anyone can't live without MAFIAA. That's easy to understand, especially for those with a degree.

I have a feeling that it's just like the patent war, a drama created by lawyers where they feed each other. Nothing else.

Guest said:

I honestly think that there is no point in buying CD albums because you'd only end up liking one or two songs in first place.

grumpiman said:

Sounds like a flawed study to me. It's akin to saying that music lovers buy more music than casual music lovers. It does make you wonder how much more music they would have bought if they couldn't download it for free.

I'm not taking sides on the old P2P debate - just pointing out the obvious.

Divvet said:

Sounds like a flawed study to me. It's akin to saying that music lovers buy more music than casual music lovers. It does make you wonder how much more music they would have bought if they couldn't download it for free.

I'm not taking sides on the old P2P debate - just pointing out the obvious.

What a lot of people miss the point on, is most the time people pirate music/video/game to see if they like it, if they do they go out and buy it. The amount of crap being produced from all these big companies is amazing, and the amount of times you go out and pay for something that is utter crap is incredible. So pirating to me is a way try before you buy.

hood6558 hood6558 said:

It's true that most of the movies and music being marketed are utter crap aimed at the semi-literate majority in America, so of course it's dumbed down and crude. Most of the good music and movies were made a while back, and were already owned and paid for at some point - on albums, tapes, and CDs, on Betamax, VHS, or DVD, or through subscription - HBO, Cinemax, Sirius, XM, etc. Then there's broadcast radio and TV, which anyone is free to legally record for their own private use. The point being that the average person has paid a whole lot of money for various media and doesn't even have a backup copies, because they want us to pay every time we watch or listen to the same thing. I think that once you paid for something, you have the right to see or hear it again without paying again - call me crazy or not. So screw the pimp daddy mentality and let the artists with the actual talent make the lion's share of the money. It will be better for all involved except the vultures who feed off others' talent.

wiyosaya said:

This confirms a BBC report from November 2009. The same thing happens in Briton, too. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8337887.stm

Guest said:

Well makes sense to me, try before you buy

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