>Illegal downloaders ‘spend the most on music’, says poll< read a The Independent headline today.
I was as much taken aback as I was kind of expecting a survey to appear one day, backing up a thesis. If you think of it, it stands to reason, that people who engage themselves in searching music, p2p networks, torrents, according software and techniques, changing formats, tagging – in short, infringe copyright protected stuff – are the ones who actually care about music.
Well, here we go – a new study from the UK states that people who illegally download music from the internet also spend more money on music than anyone else. 1,000 people between 16 and 50 were interrogated about how and where they find and purchase new music. The survey, published Nov. 1st, found that those who admit illegally downloading music spent around 120% more money per year on music than those who claim that they never download music from illegal sources.
The UK record industry’s trade association, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), still believes P2P (and similar) copyright infringement cost the industry money – some 223mio EUR in 2009. Contrary to this the findings suggest that plans by the Secretary of State for Business, Peter Mandelson, to crack down on illegal downloaders by threatening to cut their internet connections with a “three strikes and you’re out” rule could harm the music industry by punishing its core customers.
“The latest approach from the Government will not help prop up an ailing music industry. Politicians and music companies need to recognise that the nature of music consumption has changed, and consumers are demanding lower prices and easier access,” said Peter Bradwell, from the think-tank Demos, which commissioned the new poll conducted by Ipsos Mori.
Analyst Mark Mulligan of Forrester Research took the opportunity to highlight a truth policy makers seem unable or unwilling to grasp: “The people who file-share are the ones who are interested in music. They use file-sharing as a discovery mechanism.” However, music industry insist the poll offers a skewed picture.