Wake up call for music industry – the internet is not harming music sales

21 Mar 2013

Music piracy on the web is not hurting but is enhancing legitimate music sales, a European Commission report has claimed. The research claims freely streamed music is actually providing a boost to sales figures.

According to the research by the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies into the online habits of 16,000 Europeans, music bought legally would not have been discovered if the buyers had not earlier discovered the music from illegal websites.

“Online music-streaming services are found to have a somewhat larger (but still small) effect on the purchases of digital sound recordings, suggesting complementarities between these two modes of music consumption,” the institute said in its abstract.

“According to our results, a 10pc increase in clicks on legal streaming websites leads to up to a 0.7pc increase in clicks on legal digital purchase websites.”

Suffice to say the research has already been dismissed by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry as flawed and misleading.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years