Drop in illegal music downloading

10 Aug 2009

Umbrella organization for the British music industry, UK Music, carried out its second annual survey on the music habits of teenagers and young adults, with some surprising results including the fact that overall, illegal downloading has dropped slightly in the past year.

While the extent and frequency of peer-to-peer usage in 209 was no different than the year previous 61pc of UK young adults questioned were illegally downloading in 2009 in comparison to 63pc in 2008.

However, the survey also found that most teens has the same attitudes towards file sharing: they are aware that it is illegal but continue to download simply because it is free or because they want to save money.

However, two of the biggest deterrents to file sharing were the worry of downloading spyware and the fact that the songwriter or artist was not getting paid for his/her music.

There is, however, large interest in paying for digital music: 85pc of illegal downloaders say that they would gladly pay for an unlimited all-you-can-eat downalod service.

Meanwhile. Although the portable CD player is all but dead and iPods are the norm, the physical CD itself is still quite popular due to the ability to keep a hard copy and rip it onto your laptop or MP3 player.

Aside from credit card payment, one of the biggest obstacles for young adults to pay for digital downloads was the differing terms and conditions and fear that you didn’t really own the music you downloaded.

The computer has firmly become the central entertainment hub as 68pc of the 1,800 young people surveyed use it for listening to music on a daily basis.

87pc of respondents said that copying between devices is important to them while 86pc said that have copied a CD for a friend and 75pc have sent music by email, Bluetooth, Skype or MSN.

Most interesting is the fact that the music industry has evolved online in a model that almost seems to be counterintuitive to how young people consume music.

Offering all-you-can-eat downloads would seem to be a better offering that subscription models or a €10 per digital album while the CD will continue to sell because teens are attracted to the permanent backup and appeal of cover album artwork.

“Clearly, the shape of our entire business will continue to evolve,” said UK Music CEO, Feargal Sharkey.

“However, we will achieve nothing if we do not work with music fans, and young music fans in particular. They are hugely demanding in their needs, but collectively we must rise to that challenge.”

Above image from www.ukmusic.org