Burning and turning - 40 million file-sharers in current US population

By Jon Newton 2/23/03

Half of all teens and one-fifth of all Americans age 12 and older report having downloaded a music or mp3 file from a file-sharing service, entertainment industry efforts to curb file-sharing and further declines in the sales of pre-recorded CDs notwithstanding.

That's the bottom line in a new report from market researchers Ipsos, which says the numbers translate into over 40 million file-sharers within the current US population, according to 2000 US Census figures.

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While some of the older demographic groups have leveled off in their file-sharing activities, music and tech-savvy teenagers continue to embrace the file-sharing phenomenon, teenagers have also indicated a greater willingness to pay for online music, more so than older downloaders, says the report.

Some Americans woudl rather burn than buy with 25% of Americans ages 12 and older currently owning a PC-based CDR/ Burner.

"This proportion more than doubles when asking U.S. file-sharers, as 59% of Americans aged 12 and older who have downloaded a music or MP3 file from an online file- sharing service report owning this increasingly common PC peripheral," the report continues.

"Just over one in ten Americans (12%) report they have burned (or copied) a pre-recorded music CD owned by someone else rather than actually purchasing that particular CD. Again, this proportion jumps dramatically when examining file- sharers, with 42% of U.S. file-sharers aged 12 and older reporting having done this activity.

"As Americans become more familiar with the inherent music capabilities included in today's off-the-shelf PC product bundles, they are also experimenting with PC-based music acquisition and management, as well as mixing and burning CDs. We continue to see evidence that American music enthusiasts are becoming more apt to venture beyond the traditional channels of music distribution as a part of their overall audio behavior."

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Jon Newton is the editor of p2pnet.net and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.

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