Feeds

File sharers 'spend more on music downloads'

P2Pers stump up hard cash

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Brits who share and download music illegally are also among the biggest spenders on legal downloads, UK-based market watcher The Leading Question (TLQ) claimed today.

Active P2P users spend almost 4.5 times as much on legal music downloads as other music fans, a survey of more than 600 computer-using music fans conducted by TLQ revealed.

According to the study, music fans who regularly share and download music illegally typically fork out £5.52 a month on legal downloads, compared to the £1.27 music fans who don't engage in such activity spend.

This shouldn't come as a surprise. P2P users tend to be more broadly enthusiastic about technology than other groups, so it's no surprise that just as they were quick to try P2P, they will be as keen to sample new online services like iTunes.

"The 2005 Speakerbox research clearly shows that music fans who break piracy laws are highly valuable customers," said TLQ director Paul Brindley. "It also points out that they are eager to adopt legitimate music services in the future."

Maybe, but then they are also far less likely to spend money on CDs than the so-called "average music fan", with the effect that while they pay iTunes, Napster and co. more than other folk do, their overall spending on music is lower.

That's certainly the worry of the music industry, as represented by the BPI, which cited other studies that show the majority of active music sharers and downloaders spend less than they used to. "Our concern is that file-sharers' expenditure on music overall is down, a fact borne out by study after study," a spokesman for the organisation said.

"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."

For the first six months of 2005, UK-based downloaders acquired 10m songs through legal download services, more than double the number bought in 2004. However, significantly larger volumes of tracks were exchanged on P2P networks.

Some 158m songs were downloaded legally in the US during H1 2005, while CD sales fell seven per cent to 282.7m units - the equivalent of around 2380m downloads.

"There's a myth that all illegal downloaders are mercenaries hell-bent on breaking the law in pursuit of free music," said Brindley. "In reality, they are often hardcore fans who are extremely enthusiastic about adopting paid-for services as long as they are suitably compelling."

Mobile phones may be a case in point. Some 60 per cent of regular P2P users said they wanted to have an MP3 player on their phone, compared to 29 per cent of other music fans. However, the same study also revealed that only eight per cent of the 600 people surveyed said they plan to buy a music phone in the next 12 months, so clearly desire is not yet translating into demand. Some 33 per cent of respondents said they do plan to buy an iPod or some other dedicated MP3 player in that period.

Around 38 per cent of the surveyed group expressed an interest in downloading full-length tracks direct to their mobiles, rising to over 50 per cent for those who are already downloading tracks to their computers. Still, only four per cent of respondents wanted more than 1000 songs worth of music to take with them. ®

Related stories

Global music download stats spill beans on subscriptions
Worm wears iTunes guise
Apple iTunes sells half a billion songs
Oz music hyperlinker guilty of copyright infringement
US legal music downloads up 187%
MP3 is ten years old today
Motorola 'to debut' iTunes phone at UK's V Festival

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.