A survey commissioned by Google has found that file sharers buy 30% more music than those who don't share files.
It also found that Americans see a difference between private and public sharing. Eight out of 10 people say it's fine to share files with family members, and six out of 10 would do the same for friends — but as little as 4% would upload those files to the internet for sharing, according to Ars Technica.
Piracy advocates will probably use the study as evidence that file sharing promotes music, but there may be an alternative explanation. The file sharers could be more likely to be the most engaged music fans, and in turn, more likely to both share and buy music. One does not necessarily cause the other.
The survey yields other interesting results. In Germany, physical music such as CD remain the most popular format, but in America physical products account for less than half of music revenue. Only 2% of Germans use a streaming subscription service.
This graph compares US and German piracy habits:
Do you see a difference between sharing copyrighted files with friends and people you don't know online? Have you discovered new band through peer-to-peer websites? Let us know about your music discovery habits in the comments.