80% want legal P2P - survey

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The Register has an interesting survey concerning the use of p2p file sharing (the sample, though, is quite small, 773 people, no word on how they were selected.)

A fascinating survey of music consumption conducted for British Music Rights has good and bad news for the beleaguered music business.

The bad news: online file sharing is more prevalent than other surveys suggest. The good news: a lot of people are willing to pay for a service that offers legal, licensed P2P file sharing. Half the people surveyed think distributors such as large telecomms companies should pay creators from the proceeds of such a license. And a surprisingly large number of people still value physical music goods, with two thirds of potential subscribers to legal P2P saying that they would continue to buy CDs.

The numbers are quite high:

63 per cent acknowledge they "illegally" download unlicensed music - with the average monthly download being 53 tracks a month.

Also interesting is this fact:

Altruism plays a large part, the survey discovered. More than two thirds said they were giving something back to the community. The reason that most frequently appears on website comments - that music is "too expensive" - was only cited by around 10 per cent of respondents.

"This suggests that respondents recognise the value in the ‘share-ability’ of music and are motivated by a sense of fairness and the principle of reciprocity – something for something illegally," BMR concludes.