posted on Mar, 30 2004 @ 10:23 AM
Dispite claims by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) that file sharing is the main cause for the decline in record sales, a Harvard
University study points out that file-sharing is no threat to music sales. In fact, file-sharing is more likely to increase somebody's purchasing
Internet music piracy has no negative effect on legitimate music sales, according to a study released today by two university researchers that
contradicts the music industry's assertion that the illegal downloading of music online is taking a big bite out of its bottom line.
Songs that were heavily downloaded showed no measurable drop in sales, the researchers found after tracking sales of 680 albums over the course of 17
weeks in the second half of 2002. Matching that data with activity on the OpenNap file-sharing network, they concluded that file sharing actually
increases CD sales for hot albums that sell more than 600,000 copies. For every 150 downloads of a song from those albums, sales increase by a copy,
the researchers found.
"Consumption of music increases dramatically with the introduction of file sharing, but not everybody who likes to listen to music was a music
customer before, so it's very important to separate the two," said Felix Oberholzer-Gee, an associate professor at Harvard Business School and one
of the authors of the study.
Oberholzer-Gee and his colleague, University of North Carolina's Koleman Strumpf, also said that their "most pessimistic" statistical model showed
that illegal file sharing would have accounted for only 2 million fewer compact discs sales in 2002, whereas CD sales declined by 139 million units
between 2000 and 2002.
"From a statistical point of view, what this means is that there is no effect between downloading and sales," said Oberholzer-Gee.
Related news stories
BBC News: Q&A: Music downloading
Arizona Daily Wildcat
European recording companies taking action against music downloaders
[Edited on 30-3-2004 by Zion Mainframe]