File-Sharers Purchase 30% More Music Than Anyone Else

If you’re reading this, you’re obviously someone who uses the Internet. Otherwise, um, holy shit how are you reading this?! Anyway, if you’re an avid ‘net browser, chances are you have illegally downloaded music or run into a chance to do so with relative ease. And as the music industry continues to fight back against all of this—many times with foolish fines and laws—the executives might find this new piece of information quite interesting.

A study of U.S. web users/music listeners found that file-sharing folks purchase 30 percent more music than those who don’t take part in file-sharing. Of course, those same file-sharers are more likely to continue illegally downloading music, but that’s not the point here.

It’s long been an argument of mine that the more people “sample” music, the more they’ll be likely to purchase it and support the artist. This has become particularly evident given the success of indie artists like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, whose The Heist album hit number two on Billboard independently. That is, of course, not the case for everyone, but you get my point.

Here’s the most telling piece from the article, which you can read in full here.

“Most of the difference comes from higher levels of ‘downloading for free’ and ‘copying from friends/family’,” wrote American Assembly’s Joe Karaganis. “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.”

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