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Study: File-Sharing No Threat to Music Sales

Internet music piracy has no negative effect on legitimate music sales, according to a study released today by two university researchers that contradicts the music industry’s assertion that the illegal downloading of music online is taking a big bite out of its bottom line.

Songs that were heavily downloaded showed no measurable drop in sales, the researchers found after tracking sales of 680 albums over the course of 17 weeks in the second half of 2002. Matching that data with activity on the OpenNap file-sharing network, they concluded that file-sharing actually increases CD sales for hot albums that sell more than 600,000 copies. For every 150 downloads of a song from those albums, sales increase by a copy, the researchers found.

Oberholzer-Gee and his colleague, University of North Carolina’s Koleman Strumpf, also said that their “most pessimistic” statistical model showed that illegal file-sharing would have accounted for only 2 million fewer compact discs sales in 2002, whereas CD sales declined by 139 million units between 2000 and 2002.

Via Heliologue. Well, not from his blog. Just go and look at the pretty flower.

Categories: Music
  1. March 29, 2004 at 10:31 pm

    Ooooh, pretty!

    Fuck the RIAA.

  2. Fate
    March 30, 2004 at 3:57 pm

    I can’t really comment on this since the music I download has such small distribution that if I didn’t get it on MP3 I couldn’t get it anywhere. But I hate when software companies make similar claims. If I pirate Photoshop that costs $800, they don’t lose $800. I wouldn’t have spent $800 on Photoshop. But by me learning to use Photoshop they gain another Photoshop user and then when I get a job they will sell a copy of Photoshop to the company. #! shebang, they just made $800 they wouldn’t have otherwise had.

    They way electonic music artists make money is primarily through licensing. I make a song, I sell next to 0 copies, but some DJ picks up an MP3 of my song, likes it, picks up a copy of it on vinyl.. and spins it in his live sets (don’t get any money there either).. then he records that set and has to license the song to release the mix CD and I get lots of money. Someone hears that mix CD and then uses the track in a car commercial and I’m swimming in money. The DJ that records the CD though does make some money off of it, but it is to his advantage if it is pirated because then more people here him and are willing to spend $25 to see him play other peoples music (sometimes poorly even if he is a superstar DJ). Your average non-“superstar” DJ generally plays for free or traveling expenses, or for so little that it ends up being about minimum wage.. which hardly pays for all of the vinyl a DJ buys.

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