The More Music You Share, The More Music You Buy?

from the another-study dept

We've seen a bunch of studies like this in the past as well, but here's yet another report claiming that the more people share music, the more music they buy. Now, there are some caveats here. The report is done by a company that's trying to build a business around "legal music sharing," so it's a biased party. Also, its methodology is not particularly clear. So, even though it supports what plenty of other (more complete and open) studies have said, I'd at least take this one with a grain of salt.

Of course, there are some conflating factors in all of this. It wouldn't surprise me at all if some of the biggest file sharers are also some of the biggest music buyers, since they're often the biggest music fans. However, it would be wrong to then assume that because such people buy "more," it means that they buy more than they would have otherwise. That point has not been shown by studies. It may be true for some and probably is not true for many. However, what it does clearly suggest is that these file sharers are happy to pay for things when it makes sense. Once again, this reinforces the key point we've made before, that this is a business model challenge. These are underserved customers who are willing to buy, if the offer is reasonable.

Once you realize that, you quickly recognize the sheer pointlessness of the RIAA's strategy over the past decade plus. Rather than treating these people as underserved customers, who could be better served with better offerings, they instead treat them like criminals. That pushes them away, rather than making the more likely to buy anything. It's really amazing that the RIAA and the big record labels still haven't figured this simple point out.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: buying, music, sharing

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    CJ (profile), 17 Jun 2011 @ 12:16am


    Now add to your mix places like and who offer free music to the public made by music artist under different creative commons licenses. But let’s not stop here another thing that has popped up, and is becoming even more popular, and is the "in" thing is software like audacity for Linux and Windows. WavePad for Mac. Plus the much other software that you can get free or pay for. Some you may pay dearly for, but many are free. You need worry about the RIAA. Start a trend, and make your own music. Or join one of the many websites that have popped up on the Internet. Or join a few. Then upload your new creations. Or sit back, relax, and enjoy what they have to offer the public. That's not enough for you? Well there are plenty places online for you to stream your own music like shoutcast, blogtv blogtalkradio ustream, etc. Oh and you can spend hours at these places listening too. Oh but you like the oldies? Well there is a place called that you can get used Vinyl Records, CDs and Music Albums. I am sure there are plenty more of them out there that do the same as them. The record companies must be really teed off at the consumers, and everyone mentioned above for thinking these alternatives up.

    Places like these took a big chunk out of the record companies. I am sure a few of these were created simply because of out of frustration, and being sick of being treated worse than dirt by the record labels. As for youtube? I can pretty much see a trend come upon them too. Many new artists not wanting the record labels breathing down their necks will start to use youtube as a means to get their music out to the public. Just like the places mentioned above I bet we see many artist jump to youtube, and use a few of the other alternative resources to show off their talent. Then we really will see record company's take a plunge. I believe youtube is ready for them. So is the public. I know Google will be breathing a sigh of relief.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Sponsored Promotion
Public Money, Public Code - Sign The Open Letter at
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.