Downloaders buy more

The Herald reports:

Brits who illegally download music from the internet also spend more money on music than anyone else, according to a new study.

The survey, published today, found that those who admit illegally downloading music spent an average of 77 pounds ( NZ$176) a year on music –33 pounds more than those who claim that they never download music dishonestly.

So illegal downloaders spent almost twice as much as those who don’t download.

I’ve never downloaded music myself, but talking to those who do I gather that many of the downloads are to try before you buy. Now that is not an excuse for breaking the law, but it means that when you hear that 19 out of 20 songs are downloaded illegally, that does not mean sales would be 2000% greater without such downloads.

The findings suggest that plans by the Secretary of State for Business, Peter Mandelson, to crack down on illegal downloaders by threatening to cut their internet connections with a “three strikes and you’re out” rule could harm the music industry by punishing its core customers.

Ironic.

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