Piracy doesn't hurt online music sales, according to EU study

Illegal downloads may even have a positive effect on legal music sales, the study found

Illegal music downloads have negligible impact on digital music sales, according to a study by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre.

"The vast majority of the music that is consumed illegally would not have been legally purchased if illegal downloading websites were not available," the study found.

The JRC examined the browsing habits of 16,000 European citizens and discovered that not only does online piracy not hurt digital music revenues, it may even have a positive effect with "pirates" buying more music online than others.

Most of the results were found by comparing people's visits to pirate websites and legal music stores by following their clickstreams.

A 10 percent increase in clicks on illegal downloading websites led to a 0.2 percent increase in clicks on legal websites, irrespective of interest in music, the study found. "If this estimate is given a causal interpretation, it means that clicks on legal purchase websites would have been 2 percent lower in the absence of illegal downloading websites," according to the study.

The effect of legal streaming services, such as Spotify, on visits to music stores is even greater, and estimated at 7 percent.

The study did not include any policy recommendations, but concluded that the music industry shouldn't be overly concerned about online piracy. However, the study did not examine the impact of illegal downloads on physical music sales such as CDs.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Topics: Internet-based applications and services, intellectual property, legal, Music and audio, internet
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?