Files Sharers Buy 30% More Music

The same survey found that few Americans agree with sharing content online, but 80% think it's fine to share with family and 60% would share with friends.

Ultimate Guitar

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.

32 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I buy CD's. Just love to hold it in my hands and put it in my CD player. But, I have to say; paying for a download is a lot of crap.
    Should have kept the older article, there was a good top comment on there by Mr Brownst0ne: [qoute]Mr Brownst0ne posted on Jan 23, 2013 083 am # "This compares to digital music library owners not on a peer-to-peer network, who have an average collection of 1,300 songs, with 45% legally acquired and the rest ripped from CDs or copied." So going into a shop, buying a CD and ripping it onto your computer to play on your iPod doesn't count as legal anymore? Fucked up surveys like this misconstrue the data to put the people stealing music online in a good light, whilst those of us who do actually support the artists are ignored. And I can't wait for the downvotes from the people whose toes I've stepped on who have convinced themselves that downloading an album without paying for it is directly supporting the artist. [/quote] A lot of bands stream their albums prior to release, that kind of makes downloading to see if you like it a bit pointless, unless you want it for free... personally I like a physical copy, downloading would make me feel like a piece of shit, if I can't buy it then I shouldn't be able to have it. That's the internet for you, and I'm sure we all have that one "friend" that claims they'll always make up for it by going to see a live show, but they never do (show me the ticket stub, bitch)... they claim they're just hurting the labels by not buying the record... right... a lot of that money goes to the labels, but the artists still get a piece of it, too,
    i dl albums, buy the hard copy, see the band live and buy a shirt at the show, so i really hope nobody considers me "that one friend." im fixing to take a box of band tees to goodwill at this point, im swimming in them now, and i rarely get to wear most of them. however, brownstone does have a great point. 90% of my library comes from hard copies and if thats theft, then im totally giving up on playing the industry's games.
    exactly this. the majority of my digital music library is ripped copies from cd's i've bought while growing up. i was quite reluctant to use the likes of itunes until only a couple of years ago. i've paid for that CD, therefore i can make as many rips for MY use as i like. and even if i've bought a digital album, i still love going into a record shop and seeing an album i geniunely love and getting a little bit excited (yeah, lame i know) and always end up purchasing it for the sake of having something physical. these reports mean shit.
    there are a handful of bands who's concerts i would not have attended if it wasn't for file sharing. bands get more money from concert tickets than music sales anyway. obviously it would be ideal if everyone got the money they deserved but music is no longer a product... it is a service. people expect it to flow out of the wall like electricity. for every person i've met that likes cd's, there are 10 people who have individually bought songs on itunes flooding their ipod. most people now a days just use spotify. artists need to rethink their business model. rather than selling songs, a band should sell a subscription, and if you subscribe you get music, videos, and pictures as they are released, all of which are compiled into an easy master library for your portable (and wifi-accessible) music player. possibly, long time subscribers can get awards like free merch. the subscription fee is minimal, as the whole plan is aimed at getting folks to the live shows. thats where the money is anyway. so some may say "but stealing is wrong, no matter what. so deal with it" if there is a fresh stream of water next to me, and you're trying to sell me a water bottle for 9.99, I'm gonna grab water out of the stream in bucket loads when you aren't looking. Yes, people feel they deserve music like water. If you look at economic trends, the more overpriced an item is, the larger the black market for it will become. Music is completely overpriced. I may torrent less if albums were only $4... but because they are $10, I grab stuff by the BUCKET LOAD like my previous analogy. The industry is changing, and anyone that is CD and record obsessed knows nothing about economics and has an attachment to physical media that very few people share anymore. Sorry. Get with the times.
    You're not completely wrong in all your points...but you are in a lot of them. Artists do need to think about adapting to the present times as you said, and the subscription idea is interesting though I'm not sure how it would work out. But music IS a product. It's something that people have took time and effort to create and are now selling to you, the consumer. People should never feel entitled to music as you said. You can have your opinion that prices are too high, but that doesn't mean you're entitled to steal because you don't want to pay. "people expect it to flow out of the wall like electricity" just to let you know, everyone has to pay for their electricity; it doesn't just magically flow from your outlets because you need it.
    How is music overpriced? Are you an industry expert? What are your credentials? Music takes a lot of money to produce and people should ****ing pay for it, JESUS! JUST PAY FOR IT! I cant wait for the day when a way to stop downloading and filesharing happens to put an end to this pretentious, self important and entitled attitude. You are not entitled to that water if someone else owns it! Don't like it! MOVE TO CHINA where even this site is likely blocked because they're government does not approve of the content. Get with the times! It's called capitalism and people get paid for what they do or make and if you don't pay for it you don't get it. Very sick of how people can actually argue these points.. Oh I went to the show... so buy the album too... oh I bought a T-shirt... so buy the album too!!! I buy everything my favorite bands sell up to belt buckles, fan club subscriptions, t-shirts, tickets, albums, **** I have Pink Floyd cups. Just buy stuff from people and companies you like if you want to see them make stuff in the future. It's really not rocket appliances!
    I'm not sure how pirating differs from buying used CDs. Say I initially buy a CD for $10, with the money going to the record store, band, company, etc. I sell it a year later for $2, and a guy buys it for $5. So I have shared my music with another guy that I don't know, and the bands, production company, manufacturers, etc. all don't get another penny of that $5. So, in other words, if a store buys the music and sells it to someone else without giving any of their profits to the band, it's fine, but if a program does it quicker, easier, and more proficiently, it's illegal? I realize the problem, but if a band is good, their records will sell. If anything, it just weeds out the bands that are no good.
    Amuro Jay
    "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." Most important part of the article.
    Many good bands I discovered thanks to filesharing. If album is worth it I'll wait for deluxe edition and than buy it and put it in my collection. Same is for "borrowing" music to friends. I tell them this is interesting band, lend (you can say give because they will not return) them mp3s and than they decide. If album is not so good but still ok I usually go to concert to enjoy music and evening. One thing is sure: those who are not buying only downloading will not buy whenever
    I think streaming services like Spotify make the argument for piracy weaker. There are tons of artists on services like this where you can listen to the music for free and the artist makes some (very tiny) profit from it.The biggest argument for piracy has been the "try it before you buy it" one. And now there are other, legal ways to do so rather than file sharing. I just think that if you have the files downloaded on your computer, that you are much less likely to purchase that music at a later time than if you have to log into a streaming service to listen to the music all the time.
    Seems to be a generational thing though, I grew up first buying records and tapes, then CD's and will continue to do so. My kids have no concept of, or desire to buy CD's, to them buying/downloading an mp3 is fine, they don't seem to want to own a product as such. I even pulled out some records, showed them the great inserts that came with them, printed lyrics, band photo's, thank you notes, it was of little interest to them, again, I think that's just 'the kids of today'.
    I stream it on spotify to see how it sounds. Since artists don't actually make much from Spotify (.4 cents per song listened to), I usually buy it if I like it enough to want to listen to it on my iPod.
    This issue is like gun control. People are firmly stuck in their ways on one side of it, and make no effort to understand the other and come to a compromise
    I love buying CDs but as much as I hate it, they're gone, its all about downloading, we must goon with th future.
    Black Mustangs
    I hate explaining this to anti piracy advocates... In the first 15 years of my life I pirated no music, bought one CD and maybe $50 worth of music from iTunes. In the past 5 years, even though I've downloaded tens of thousands of songs, I've bought almost 30 CDs and around $600 worth of music online, most of which was by artists I never would have given a chance otherwise. Piracy helps every genre of music except for pop music, which no one is "discovering" through illegal downloads.
    Hardly surprising is it? People share music because they listen to music. People buy music because they listen to music. People who don't listen to music don't buy or share music.
    Because they are sharing files does not mean they go out and buy music. It probably just means they know more about music, they listen to more music, they like more music, they like music more.....
    My collection of vinyls and CDs (and one Cassette tape single) are all bought based on my online music discovery. If I didn't illegally acquire music none of those artists would've seen a dime of my money. Not to mention the dozen or so live shows and the bucketload of merchandise (I'm wearing a Protomen shirt under my Pink Floyd hoodie right now) I've purchased because of my love for these bands-- love that I never would've discovered if not for illegal sharing. It's a tired argument in either direction anyway. Some pirates never plan on giving an artist any money while others shovel out loads of cash.
    Didn't even read... Obviously people who love music enough to download it would be more likely to buy it... If you're not interested enough to get it for free then you OBVIOUSLY aren't going to pay for it LMFAO! MY GOD HOW STUPID AND OBVIOUS!
    Sometimes I want to listen to a record first, then I'll buy it either. Either a physical copy or a download from iTunes.
    I have absolutely no trouble believing this. Folks down at the RIAA will probably be scratching their heads, though.
    I'm not even a least bit surprised by these news. File sharing is the tape trading of this generation. Of course quality is better, close to or even equal to original source. Also faster, easier and more... tempting for misuse. But the good sides still remain, like obscure not-mainstream bands getting more attention and so on.
    This is a bar graph of my favorite Pies.... and this is a pie chart of my favorite BARS