New Market Research: Music Streaming Services Halve Illegal Downloads
from the giving-customers-what-they-want dept
For a long time, the copyright industries have taken the position that they won't launch new digital music services until piracy is "solved" – or at least punished. The inevitable consequence of that position is obvious to everyone outside the copyright industries – people turn to other, unauthorized sources to satisfy their musical needs. Fortunately, a few startups have launched pioneering digital music offerings and some, like Spotify, look like they might succeed.
This means that we are beginning to get some real-life figures to flesh out the counter-argument that offering people new ways to listen to music online would greatly help to reduce piracy. For example, at the end of last year, Techdirt wrote about a Swedish study that supported this idea. Now we have some new market research on music streaming services in Scandinavia:
While we may think of Sweden as the home of music streaming, the proportion of Norwegians who have access to a music streaming service has increased from 37 to 56 percent in the last six months. For the first time, Norway has surpassed Sweden in this statistic - in Sweden during the same period the corresponding figure increased from 48 to 54 percent.
Those are impressive figures, and give an indication of the untapped potential in other markets that still don't have serious music streaming services able to offer most tracks that people want to listen to – crucial if they are to displace illegal downloads.
Even more remarkable is the following statistic about the three countries where the research was conducted – Norway, Sweden and Denmark:
Across all three Scandinavian countries, the survey also shows that over half the people who previously downloaded music illegally no longer do so after they have been given access to a streaming service.
So forget SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, TPP, HADOPI, the Digital Economy Act, La Ley Sinde and all the other punitive frameworks for tackling unauthorized downloads: this latest research adds weight to the argument that by far the quickest way to reduce the scale of music piracy is to introduce decent streaming services.