updated 02:30 pm EDT, Tue April 21, 2009
Study on Piracy and Music
Despite a common perception that pirating music decreases sales, a new study published by Norway's Aftenposten this week suggests an opposite effect. Conducted by the BI Norwegian School of Management, the research finds that those between who frequently download music through file sharing services are 10 times more likely to buy music than those that cling only to legal purchases. It also notes that those between the ages of 15 and 20 are more likely to buy songs through download stores like iTunes than CDs.
The disproportionate amount of purchasing among file sharers is surprising, the school's Audun Molde says.
Music label EMI's Bjørn Rogstad is nonetheless skeptical of the findings and notes that music revenues are still declining even as downloads, legal and otherwise, continue to increase. That suggests illegal music sharing is still having a too-great impact on actual sales, according to the official.
Some industry watchers believe that much of the decline stems from the nature of digital sales, which so far have largely echoed the iTunes model and encourage by-the-track sales; customers only need to buy a handful of songs. The change has led to weaker album sales versus songs as buyers ignore tracks they don't require. Raising prices on new songs to compensate has also proven ineffective as new variable pricing has seen expensive songs drop in popularity versus the typical 99-cent price. [via Ars Technica]