A new study by The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, which is part of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, tackled this question in a unique way. With data from more than 16,000 European Internet users they determined what the effect was of people’s access to pirate sites on visits to online music stores.
The results are now published in a paper titled “Digital Music Consumption on the Internet: Evidence from Clickstream Data,” and the researchers found that overall, piracy has a positive effect on music sales.
“It seems that the majority of the music that is consumed illegally by the individuals in our sample would not have been purchased if illegal downloading websites were not available to them,” they write.
In addition, the researchers are also the first to find that free and legal streaming websites don’t cannibalize legal music purchases.
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A new academic paper by a researcher from the North Carolina State University has examined the link between BitTorrent downloads and music album sales. Contrary to what’s often claimed by the major record labels, the paper concludes that there is absolutely no evidence that unauthorized downloads negatively impact sales. Instead, the research finds that more piracy directly leads to more album sales.
Between May 2010 and January 2011 the professor collected a variety of download statistics of new albums that were released on the largest private BitTorrent tracker dedicated to music. He then used this data in combination with sales numbers to construct a model that predicts what the causal effect of piracy on music sales is.
The results are unique in its kind and reveal that BitTorrent piracy causes an increase in album sales.
“I isolate the causal effect of file sharing of an album on its sales by exploiting exogenous variation in how widely available the album was prior to its official release date. The findings suggest that file sharing of an album benefits its sales. I don’t find any evidence of a negative effect in any specification, using any instrument,” Hammond concludes in his paper.
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US P2P users have larger collections than non-P2P users (roughly 37% more). And predictably, most of the difference comes from higher levels of ‘downloading for free’ and ‘copying from friends/family’,” American Assembly’s Joe Karaganis writes.
But 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.
Downloading copied music is legal in some countries in the context of the copyright, such as Canada, The Netherlands, Spain, and Panama, provided that the songs are not sold. In Canada it is legal to download any copyrighted file as long as it is for noncommercial use, but it is illegal to distribute the copyrighted files (e.g. by uploading them to a P2P network.
Originally posted by pheonix358
What the Big five want as an end game is to have the power to take our money every time we decide to listen to a song or watch a movie. They do not want us to 'own' anything.
I don't think they will ever achieve this and instead they will burn the whole industry down.
This is already happening in sales of books where the big publishers and bookstores are dying as their antiquated methodologies give way to Authors' direct marketing strategies, otherwise called e-publishing.
Originally posted by XLR8R
reply to post by boncho
I was just about to mention Game of Thrones. I didn't get a chance to watch the first season when it came out so I DL'ed it. I loved it so much I went and bought the series. In fact, I tend to buy more when I DL something. If I like it I buy it. This goes for movies, TV series and music. I pretty much own a copy of every thing I DL. To me, there's something about having the hard copy I find reassuring.
Originally posted by samkent
It really is simple.
You write a book. It gets put into epub format for etailers to sell.
They sell 5000 copies. (considered to be very successful)
A few of those torrent your book.
Another 10,000 people download the book.
Are you out any money? Of course you are. Maybe not the full 10,000 in sales but certainly 5000 sales.
Would you be pissed that you missed out on half your commision ?
Of course you would be pissed.
Don't try to lie to yourselves. It is stealing.