Music Swappers More Willing To Buy Music

from the well,-duh... dept

Here’s even more evidence of how badly the music industry has been shooting themselves in the foot the last few years. A new study shows that those who engage in file sharing are more likely to buy music both on and offline. The reasons for this are clear: people who share music, use it as a way to discover new music and find what they like – and then are often willing to go spend money on those artists, whether by buying CDs or by going to concerts. In other words, the music industry has been calling the people who are most likely to support them criminals. We’ve talked about how the music industry shouldn’t refer to their customers as criminals – but this is worse. They’re actually calling their best customers criminals. Personally, I don’t use file sharing programs, because it’s not worth the risk to me – even if I believe the music industry should embrace them and they should be entirely legal. I used Napster in the early days, but now I don’t use anything. When I was using Napster I was buying about an album a week – because I kept discovering new stuff I liked. Now, I barely buy any new music at all, mostly because I have no idea what’s good. The most recent albums I’ve bought have all been after a friend pointed out a band, and I downloaded some MP3s that those specific bands offered off their website.

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Comments on “Music Swappers More Willing To Buy Music”

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Jeremiah (user link) says:

Napster, et al

I hear this often: “When I had Napster I was buying more CD’s then not.”
I think of this statement as a kind of revisionist-self-history, in the sense that I’m repeatedly reminding my friends they were never out buying more CD’s when they had Napster, because we were all busy seeing who could d/l the most obtuse track we could find.
If the “I bought more with Napster” camp was telling the truth, I’m sure we would have heard of dozens of “unknown artists” suddenly selling thousands of CD’s. This simply was never the case. Many of Napster’s own surveys showed the most popular downloads often correlated with the Billboard charts, seconded by the number of people downloading mp3’s of music they already owned.
If there was any one entity, IMHO, that did the most for independant music, it has to be Yes, we revile them now that they’re owned by a French sewage company, but back in the day they were the *only* company to have figured some kind of revenue stream for artists to participate in while promoting their music via free mp3’s.
So sayeth the me.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Napster, et al

If the “I bought more with Napster” camp was telling the truth, I’m sure we would have heard of dozens of “unknown artists” suddenly selling thousands of CD’s. This simply was never the case.

Not necessarily true. It would be true if there were a small number of “unknown artists” out there to discover. But, there are thousands upon thousands – and they are widely diverging in terms of musical styles and talents. So, just because I discovered a band via Napster, and you discovered a band via Napster – doesn’t mean that everyone else discoverd the same bands.

My CD collection is almost entirely filled with “unknown artists”. I’ve had people complain to me that they don’t recognize a single CD in my collection. I have friends who are the same way – where *I* don’t recognize a single CD they own. By your logic, we should both own the same CDs that no one else would know.

Jeremiah (user link) says:

Re: Re: Napster, et al

Scale changes everything. Point taken.

I should qualify my fundamental assertion by saying that age has a *lot* to do with this. IN MY EXPERIENCE, people my age (early 30’s) are more apt to purchase a CD or financially support artists they, well, support. It’s the kids who endlessy rationalize their voracious appetites for free music by not paying for music.

I’m currently working on a writing project where I’m interviewing adolescents who download music in an attempt to get a bead on where their heads are with respect to purchasing music online, or at the very least, using the Internet to send money (ala the TipJar approach.)

I’ll submit it to you when it’s done.

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