Research: Illegal Downloading Of Internet Tracks Boosting Sales Of Albums

July 9, 2003

Claire Smith of The Scotsman reports that groups such as METALLICA, GARBAGE and the RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS who try to prevent fans downloading their tracks are "shooting themselves in the foot," according to research.

Patrick Johnston, a music business analyst, said: "Far from damaging the music industry, downloading music from the internet can be a useful and significant marketing tool."

Music fans who illegally download their favorite tracks from the internet still buy albums in the shops, according to the research.

The findings explode music industry fears that such Internet file-sharing is killing the record industry. The results suggest most music fans still like to own genuine copies of their favorite albums.

Music Research and Programming, industry research experts who surveyed 500 serial downloaders aged between 13 and 45, discovered that 87 per cent of those who "try before they buy" would still buy albums when they were commercially released.

A total of 91 per cent of file-sharers download individual tracks, but more than two-thirds go on to buy the album, with even the heaviest downloaders saying they like to own real CDs.

Only half of people who download music illegally from the Internet believe they are doing something morally wrong. Almost half of the people who responded to the survey were "heavy downloaders" who obtained more than 100 tracks. However, surprisingly, 34 per cent of them said they were buying more music than ever before.

Although 38 per cent of heavy users said they were buying less music, about 28 per cent said their Internet activities had not affected the number of CDs they bought in a year. Read more.

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