Fildelning ökar intresset för musik

Music Lessons 2

Music Lessons är en undersökning och rapportserie från KTH som gjordes 2005 och i den femte rapportdelen, Trends in downloading and filesharing of music, står följande sammanfattning av dess innehåll (den är publicerad på engelska):

The digitalization has made music easy to store, copy and distribute. The main source for digital music among Europeans is still CDs, their own or from family and friends, but also music websites and file sharing at P2P networks play a more and more important role, especially among the young generation who already has been used to go to internet to look for entertainment. What is happening with the introduction of the compressed digital music format MP3, is the beginning of a change where the physical unit, CD, slowly will be replaced by digital units.

The music industry has historically been a key area where early adoption of new technology has taken place and we can now present some important lessons with relevance also for many other industrial sectors.

P2P technology allowed millions to engage in interactivity (inclusion) and provided new market conditions. At the same time, it has created serious problems for traditional business models and modes of digital asset protection and, as a consequence, major media actors directed information and lobbying campaigns that were heavily biased. It all followed the logical pattern of technological shifts.

It is a common misconception that the loss in revenue during the last five years have been caused by unauthorised sharing of music. Our finding is that the reason more have to do with lack of attractive legal alternatives to download music online. The misconception, that file sharing is to blame, has lead to efforts to criminalise file shares, that means to criminalise the majority of the young generation. The music industry, who have been prosperous during the 90s, have tried to hinder the technology change and have heighten the misconception. European politicians have listened to them.

In this report we have presented results that show that file sharing of music in the P2P networks stimulates the interest for music. Even if old favourites are most popular, many down loaders also discover new music and new artists, and many of them later buy a CD or visit a concert with this artist. It also happens frequently that down loaders buy music that they have downloaded and already listened to. Most often it happens for heavy down loaders, which once again show that file shares also are big spenders on legal music downloads.

The majority of file shares say that they buy the same or more music than before, but there is a minority of 10-35 percent who say that their downloading have decreased their purchases. How strong this negative effects is on music sales is however impossible to say. But the decline of music sales during the last six years cannot be blamed on this small minority of free riders. The decline happened when a new compressed digital format, MP3, was introduced and no legal attractive music sites were there online to meet the demand of the young consumers. The future is then not so much in the hands of the file shares but in the hands of the music business. They have to listen to their consumers and create attractive online music sites, and when online music sales are included in the statistics the total music sale statistic is up again.

What we have found, after analysing the course of events and interviewing the file shares, is that downloading and file sharing of music more has a positive than a negative effect on music sales. The music interest is promoted. New music and new artists are discovered. And it is not unusual that music that already has been down loaded and listened to also is bought. Apple has further showed that well-constructed dedicated download sites can very well compete with the file sharing networks.

In our view, it had been better if the politicians had not followed the advice from the music industry but instead had promoted the creative possibilities of the new technology and facilitated online distribution of legal supplies.

The new findings presented in this report show that the substitution effect is hard to find and that the misgivings about the devastating effects of music file sharing has not been justified. On the contrary, file sharing of music is stimulating the music interest. This is a lesson that can be learned also in other business areas.

Återigen konstateras att minskningen i försäljning inte kan kopplas till fildelningen utan förmodligen har andra orsaker. Man kan också se att flitiga fildelare ofta köper mer musik än andra och ofta musik de aldrig annars skulle hittat. Dessutom kritiseras musikindustrin för att de inte svara mot konsumenternas behov utan försöker hålla kvar en ålderdomlig produktions- och distributionskultur och rapporten menar att politikerna har blivit lurade av industrin. Det som sägs i rapporten gäller i allt väsentligt också filmindustrin.

Bloggat: Stenudd, ModerataKarameller, Widén,
Borgarmedia: DN1, 2, SVD1, 2, Journalisten,
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