File Sharers BUY 5X more Online Music Than Non Traders

By Jon Newton 7/29/05

Music fans who “break piracy laws” are actually “highly valuable customers".

That’s one of the not at all surprising findings from a UK study.

Another is that music lovers would rather get their fixes from dedicated music players then mp3-empowered mobile phones.

People who illegally’ share music online are also big spenders on ‘legal’ downloads, says UK digital music research firm The Leading Question, as quoted by the BBC. Therefore, “Rather than taking legal action against downloaders, the music industry needs to entice them to use legal alternatives,” says the report, which says file sharers, “spent four and a half times more on paid-for music downloads than average fans”.

Jon Newton

More needs to be done to capitalise on the power of the peer-to-peer networks that many music downloaders still use, according to the BBC’s review, which goes on:

“There's a myth that all illegal downloaders are mercenaries hell-bent on breaking the law in pursuit of free music” but, “The study found that regular downloaders of unlicensed music spent an average of £5.52 (about $9.63 at the time of writing) a month on legal digital music.”

This compared to a mere £1.27 (about $2.15) spent by “other music fans”.

Predictably, the Big Music cartel-owned BPI (British Phonographic Industry) contradicts the findings, comparing them to results of its own said ‘research’ which, as usual, it claims is independent because it got an outside firm to compile it.

"The consensus among independent research is that a third of illegal file-sharers may buy more music and around two thirds buy less,” it says, going on:

“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".

‘Carrot and stick” refers to the music industry’s long-standing sue ‘em all combined sales, marketing and PR campaign under which it’s trying to use lawsuits to force consumers into buying over-priced, cookie cuter ‘product’.


Jon Newton is the editor of 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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