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Spotify-style streaming beats piracy, boosts sales - survey

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The music business is beaten up for lots of reasons. One quite justifiable reason is its level of knowledge about what we actually do on digital networks. When a bigwig makes a statement about music consumption, it's invariably based on hunches rather empirical evidence. This item might help.

A poll by Norstat for a Norwegian music service reckons that 54 per cent of people who use streaming services such as Spotify have stopped downloading music illegally.

68 per cent say they are playing more music as a result, with a strong discovery element (72 per cent).

The research was conducted for Aspiro, a music streaming company (there's a surprise) in June.

The Norwegian streaming demographic is skewed towards techie, urban blokes - just 19 per cent of those polled who use streaming services are female.

A poll for Money Supermarket back in November suggested that two thirds of Spotify users either downloaded fewer unlicensed tracks from sites such as Pirate Bay or Rapidshare or had stopped altogether.

Spotify has yet to launch in the US, but is now heading for a stratospheric valuation of around $300m. A very big payday beckons for Spotify's major label investors - if they can find a buyer.

Free, open streaming services such as Spotify and We7 are now touted as the first destinations people go to hear a music recommendation. But isn't YouTube the world's default jukebox? Curiously neither Google nor the music industry (with the honorable exception of the UK's PRS) has made much of an effort to monetize it, or develop its strengths as a repository of both popular and obscure music.

Funny, that. ®

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