Illegal file-sharing still outnumbers legal downloading

Younger consumers are not prepared to pay

Illegal file-sharing continues to outnumber paid for downloads, a new piece of research has found.

According to Jupiter Research, illegal peer-to-peer networks are used three times as much as legal services, while the report concludes many younger consumers do not consider music to be a product to be paid for because of the availability of illegal networks.

“The digital youth of today are being brought up on a near limitless diet of free and disposable music from file-sharing networks,” Jupiter analyst Mark Mulligan told BBC News.

He added: “When these consumers age and increase spending power they should become key music buying consumers. Unless the music industry can transition these consumers whilst they are young away from free consumption to paid music formats, be they digital or CDs, they may never develop music purchasing behaviour and the recording industry could suffer long-term harm.”

The research showed that only five per-cent of all internet consumers pay for downloads, with among 15 per-cent taking advantage of free sources.

Swedish online consumers are the most likely to pay, with 31 per-cent of them using legal downloade, while just 10 per-cent of European-wide consumers say they are prepared to pay for music via services like iTunes.