File-Sharers Buy 30% More Music Than Non-Sharers [STUDY]
While intuitively it makes
sense to believe that music pirates are largely out to hoard large collections
of free content, a comprehensive new study reveals that file-sharers in the
United States tend to purchase more music
than non-file-sharers. The findings come from a new report entitled "Copy
Culture in the USA and Germany," conducted by The American Assembly
– a non-partisan public affairs forum affiliated with Columbia University.
Their findings indicate that file-sharers actually purchase 30% more music, contradicting
major label and RIAA wisdom of piracy being “devastating” for music sales.
To collect their data, the group
conducted thousands of telephone interviews throughout the United States and
Germany to catch a glimpse into the sharing habits of both countries. They
found that the average music file collection in the United States now stands at
1,444 songs. As one might expect, file-sharers in the U.S. were found to
have approximately 37% larger music collections than non-file-sharers.
“Most of the difference comes
from higher levels of ‘downloading for free’ and ‘copying from friends/family’,”
wrote American Assembly’s Joe Karaganis. “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 group’s research also found
that the ripping of CDs and offline file sharing among friends accounts for a
higher percentage of people’s music collection than P2P file sharing does across
all age groups.
While these findings may come
as a bit of a surprise to the folks at the major labels and the RIAA, it’s been
seen through numerous studies that file-sharers tend to be those users who are most
passionate about music and constantly seek to consume and discover as much new
music as they possibly can. The use of file-sharing networks is simply their
most straightforward and convenient way to do so.