Music piracy drives legal sales (a bit)
For light relief I sometimes follow copyright issues, especially music piracy. So it was with great interest I came across this little tidbit from the European Commission’s institute for prospective technological studies.
The good guys there analysed the clickstreams from 16,000 digital music consumers and concluded that a 10% increase in clicks on pirate music download sites leads to a corresponding 0.2% rise in clicks on legal download sites.
Conversely, a 10% increase in clicks on legal streaming websites leads to up to a 0.7% increase in clicks on legal digital purchase websites. The difference in effect between legal and illegal sources on music sales is basically zero, they found.
“Our results suggest that internet users do not view illegal downloading as a substitute for legal digital music,” say the researchers.
“Our findings indicate that digital music piracy does not displace legal music purchases in digital format. This means that although there is trespassing of private property rights (copyrights), there is unlikely to be much harm done on digital music revenues.”
Bottom line? The Pirate Bay, Megaupload etc were doing the music companies’ marketing for them. For free.
It’s time to repeal the misbegotten Digital Economy Act, and lift the useless court-imposed ISP blocks on content.