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New study: P2P music increases CD sales

New study: P2P music increases CD sales

Good or Bad? Does music sharing actually increase music sales?

A new study by Industry Canada and the University College London has found that P2P music is not necessarily damaging CD sales, and is instead, helping it.

While the study admits it was unable to find a direct link between P2P file sharing and CD sales of the population as a whole (in Canada), it does say of those interviewed there is a positive link between them. The research finds that many people download because they want to listen to stuff and check whether it's worth buying. The other main reason was because the downloaded content was not available in their region.

"We estimate that the effect of one additional P2P download per month is to increase music purchasing by 0.44 CDs per year." the research states.

"Another important finding is that the overall results show that people who purchase paid electronically-delivered music are not less likely to purchase music in traditional markets (CD albums). However, people who also own an MP3 player appear to be less likely to purchase CD albums." Well, duh. So much for the music industry trying to get us to pay for something more than once.

Naturally because this kind of result doesn't fly with the industy's political agenda, it has been quick to dismiss it. "It's not rocket science to work out that if you get your music for free, why would you go out and buy it," states Sabiene Heindl, the General Manager of Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI).

On the subject of music sharing, Wired has also a Threat Level article on the latest "OiNK Wannabe" - ironically, all the fuss that has been created over invite-only music sharing website OiNK being taken down has simply created a whole new breed of similar websites to spring up in its place.

P2P has always been a controversial subject, and it seems academic studies and politics rarely mix well, unless it reaffirms your point of view. True, if you're discovering new music from P2P and buy CDs from it, then what's the harm? But that's not to mean it's as good as something legal like Pandora - however, OiNK style communities are often about the community and music discussion as well - the social aspects of "Web 2.0" are a driving force for many.

But, let's not delude ourselves - if you do download it and it's good quality, why buy it? Owning a CD may be nice, but is a bit of polycarbonate worth a crisp note if you already own the contents?

Let us know your (controversial thoughts) in the forums. Maybe post from someone else's machine when you do, though...

23 Comments

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samkiller42 6th November 2007, 14:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
if you do download it and it's good quality, why buy it? Owning a CD may be nice, but is a bit of polycarbonate worth a crisp note if you already own the contents?

Maybe because not everybody owns a MP3 player/iPod, or has a car PC system, and so would want to be able to listen to it in the car.

Sam
Bursar 6th November 2007, 14:58 Quote
Pandora is cool. Hadn't come across it before. I really like Musicovery as well.
Anakha 6th November 2007, 15:09 Quote
Just as a quick note, it's University College. University Collage would be made up of lots of little bits stuck together.
will. 6th November 2007, 15:10 Quote
New study:

A new study is being undertaken to determine how many studies are under way to find out if all, or any, of the studies already taken on the subject of illegal music downloading are either bullshit, porky pies or just pointless, annoying and biased towards whoever is in control of the damn study.
airchie 6th November 2007, 15:58 Quote
LMAO @ Will! :D

Until I read the article about the RIAA shutting up shop or embracing non-DRM'd downloads, its just more of the same IMO... :D
serial_ 6th November 2007, 16:22 Quote
The majority of my mp3 collection is from CDs I converted to digital medium, and most of those CDs were purchased because I pirated a few of the songs off the interwebs first =).

So you see... it's a vicious cycle...
pendragon 6th November 2007, 16:31 Quote
i've downloaded many a tune, and then gone out and actually bought new Cd's because of it... hell, if it wasn't for file sharing i'd never have gone to all the concerts that ive been to in the past few years! take that RIAA ..|.. X_X ..|..
Computer Gremlin 6th November 2007, 16:45 Quote
Haven't bought a single CD in a while. The music is terrible quality and their is nothing inspiring or interesting available. WCYY at 94.3 FM here in Maine plays the best music around but tying to find the CDs to the music they play is difficult. All the new bands don't disclose sales or only sell live CDs at concerts.
BioSniper 6th November 2007, 16:51 Quote
I am one of those that will download to see if it's worth buying.
The last NiN CD (Year Zero) was like that, I downloaded it, loved it to bits, bought it and I regularly do the same with other music. It's like shareware, you need to try before you buy imo. Selling a CD on the strength of one single isn't good enough for most consumers.
Lee @ Scan 6th November 2007, 16:57 Quote
Right... I do not grab albums but what I do grab are live sets by various DJ's like Antiscience, Autobots, Deekline & Wizard and a load of others.

While this is not affected my albums I've purchased this year ... 1 - Pendulum - Hold your colour (my first copy got damaged), what it has affected is my weekends out as now I tend to be all over the place seeing names I wouldn't be seeing unless I downloaded their sets and gave them a good listen to.
AcidJiles 6th November 2007, 21:04 Quote
how suprising (sarcasm)

oh wait this is what those who know the truth about p2p etc have been saying for years
impar 6th November 2007, 22:57 Quote
Greetings!

P2P studies... :|
Quote:
We estimate that the effect of one additional P2P download per month is to increase music purchasing by 0.44 CDs per year.
So, the study reaches the conclusion that
"the effect of one additional P2P download per month is to increase music purchasing by 0.44 CDs per year"
that means that
"the effect of twelve additional P2P downloads per year is to increase music purchasing by 0.44 CDs per year"
or, since its impossible to buy 0.44 CD, that
"the effect of twenty seven (~27.3) additional P2P downloads per year is to increase music purchasing by 1 CD per year".

If only one of the ~27.3 downloads results in a CD sale, what results the other 26.3 downloads?
Guessing some will be deleted, others will join the "pirate chest".
DXR_13KE 7th November 2007, 00:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!

P2P studies... :|

So, the study reaches the conclusion that
"the effect of one additional P2P download per month is to increase music purchasing by 0.44 CDs per year"
that means that
"the effect of twelve additional P2P downloads per year is to increase music purchasing by 0.44 CDs per year"
or, since its impossible to buy 0.44 CD, that
"the effect of twenty seven (~27.3) additional P2P downloads per year is to increase music purchasing by 1 CD per year".

If only one of the ~27.3 downloads results in a CD sale, what results the other 26.3 downloads?
Guessing some will be deleted, others will join the "pirate chest".

you got it wrong.... the effect of one additional download is 0.44 CDs per year, if so then 12 should increase the purchasing by 5,28..... if it is 27 then 11.88 albums.... if it is 1000 downloads then it increases the purchasing by 440 albums.... and so on....

i wonder if this also works in reverse...... if you download minus 1000 and it decreases the purchasing by 440 albums.....
impar 7th November 2007, 00:26 Quote
Greetings!

The authors used different time measures.

1 download per month, 0.44 CDs per year.
12 downloads per year, 0.44 CDs per year.
1 download per month, 0.03(6) CDs per month.
Aankhen 7th November 2007, 12:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by samkiller42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
if you do download it and it's good quality, why buy it? Owning a CD may be nice, but is a bit of polycarbonate worth a crisp note if you already own the contents?

Maybe because not everybody owns a MP3 player/iPod, or has a car PC system, and so would want to be able to listen to it in the car.
Certainly, but I'm pretty sure most people these days have access to something that can burn CDs. Isn't it much better to have a CD filled with tracks that you like, rather than a single album which contains a mix of a few tracks that you like and many that you don't much care for?
Drexial 7th November 2007, 14:31 Quote
i can find data from the first three years of napsters existence that proved this. this is no new study. its not only because you can preview, it also exposes you to music you never would have heard before. i didn't even read the article this is such an old point.
Lee @ Scan 7th November 2007, 14:38 Quote
Audiogalaxy was where it was at.

The day that service ended - the day a small part of me shed a small tear :)
DXR_13KE 7th November 2007, 19:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!

The authors used different time measures.

1 download per month, 0.44 CDs per year.
12 downloads per year, 0.44 CDs per year.
1 download per month, 0.03(6) CDs per month.
Quote:
Originally Posted by from source
We estimate that the effect of one additional P2P download per month is to increase music purchasing by 0.44 CDs per year (based on estimates obtained from the negative binomial model in Table 4.3). Furthermore, we find indirect evidence of the 'market creation' effect of P2P file-sharing in the positive coefficient on the variable 'Not available elsewhere' (Table 4.3).
impar 7th November 2007, 19:27 Quote
Greetings!

"The authors used different time measures."

Do you prefer to receive a 100€ monthly raise in your paycheck or a 1000€ yearly bonus?
Constructacon 8th November 2007, 09:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!

"The authors used different time measures."

Do you prefer to receive a 100€ monthly raise in your paycheck or a 1000€ yearly bonus?

I'll take the 100 a month raise thanks which works out to be 100(12!) = $47,900,160,000.00 in raises alone ;)
impar 8th November 2007, 09:44 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constructacon
I'll take the 100 a month raise thanks which works out to be 100(12!) = $47,900,160,000.00 in raises alone ;)
Its an one time raise, not consecutive ones. :p
DXR_13KE 8th November 2007, 11:33 Quote
impar.... oww i get it now.... you equalized the units....

had to change my brain from Eng mode to Pt mode..... :D

but these numbers are interesting.... especially if they work also in reverse... if you were to press a button that would shut down all piracy in the world...... and considering that 10 000 000 mp3s are shared each month (number out of ass, the number is surely bigger) you would have a decrease in album buying by 300 000 per month or 3 600 000 per year .....
impar 9th November 2007, 11:32 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
... you would have a decrease in album buying by 300 000 per month or 3 600 000 per year...
Actually, the decrease in CD sales would be 366 667 per month or 4 400 000 per year, if "all piracy were shut down at the touch of a button" and "10 000 000 MP3s were shared every month" scenario.

Basically, P2Pers always said that P2P activity increased CD sales, because it allowed them to know new artists.
Music industry, on the other hand, always said P2P activity caused a decrease in CD sales, because it allowed P2Pers to obtain the music for free.

As in most cases, the reality/truth should be somewhere in the middle of those opposing views.

What the study concludes is the amount of CD sales increases in just 3.67% (1 download per month, 0.03(6) CDs per month increase), quantifying the P2Per view of CD sales increase.
However, to defend that P2P activity doesnt affect negatively the amount of CDs sold is just ridiculous. Only need to check the CD sales charts since P2P and broadband became commom.

Even the study (which I consider pro-P2P, if by anything else, by the words used) found no evidence of a "relationship between P2P file-sharing and the purchasing of electronically-delivered music files" (page 35 of the studys PDF).
My interpretation is that P2Pers already have a digital copy of the music, obtained via P2P, so they dont need to buy the music from iTunes or other similar service. The increase in CDs sales can be explained by the value P2Pers give to a hard copy of the music for their music collection shelves.

Am not impressed.
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