NEW STUDY CLAIMS THAT THOSE WHO DOWNLOAD THE MOST MUSIC ILLEGALLY ALSO PURCHASE THE MOST MUSIC LEGALLY
This is especially interesting in light of the drama surrounding Century Media and BitTorrent users: The American Assembly, a self-described “non-partisan public affairs forum,” has released a new report which asserts that people who illegally download music are the same people who legally purchase music the most often:
“US P2P users have larger collections than non-P2P users (roughly 37% more). And predictably, most of the difference comes from higher levels of ‘downloading for free’ and ‘copying from friends/family.’
“But some of it also comes from significantly higher legal purchases of digital music than their non-P2P using peers–around 30% higher among US P2P users. Our data is quite clear on this point and lines up with numerous other studies: The biggest music pirates are also the biggest spenders on recorded music.”
The report also claims that in the United States, “the average music file owner get his or her music… predominantly through legal sources.”
But the RIAA ostensibly called the study bogus. Here’s a quote from Russ Crupnick of NPD, the firm that does the RIAA’s survey work:
“We hear this argument all the time and it makes no sense. Peer-to-peer users tend to be younger and more Internet-savvy, so the likelihood that would be buying digital files makes perfect sense. But you can’t compare that to the entire population. Sixty percent of the population is over the age of 35, so you’re kind of comparing peer-to-peer users with Baby Boomers who buy much, much less music.”
…but the author of the report, Joe Karaganis, disputes their dispute:
“Mr. Crupnick is right that P2P users shouldn’t be compared to the general population, which is why we didn’t do that. We compared them to the population that has music files: 50% of adults in the US.”
“As to why he thinks this result is non-sensical, I couldn’t tell you. There’s nothing implausible in the claim that heavy pirates are also the heaviest buyers. He’s surely right that NPD hears this claim all the time, from such sources as the French enforcement organization, HADOPI, the BBC, Industry Canada, a Dutch government funded study, some business school researchers in Norway, and by the way, the Canadian branch of the RIAA itself. In my view this should be viewed as a baseline for the file sharing conversation–not a ‘counter-intuitive’ result. And if NPD has data that suggests otherwise, perhaps they could share it.”
I’ll be very curious to see if NPD does release alternate data.
Discuss in the comments section below.
[via Classic Rock]