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P2P users buy more CDs

P2P users buy more CDs

Is P2P damage estimated by the industry in billions of dollars a year just propaganda? This is the most immediate consideration that could be derived from reading The Impact of Music Downloads and P2P File-Sharing on the Purchase of Music: A Study For Industry Canada, a survey conducted on the territory beyond Lake Ontario that aims to be an authoritative and independent opinion on the continuing issue of content sharing pointed to as piracy on its real effects on the market and on how it modifies – if it modifies them – the purchasing habits of consumers.

The survey was born from the collaboration between two professors from the University of London, Industry Canada and the opinion poll company Decima Research, founded in 1979 by the strategist of the Conservative Progressive Party of Canada Allan Gregg. Decima interviewed over 2,000 Canadian citizens on topics such as the habits of downloading and purchasing music content, whether they are authorized or not .

The main conclusions reached by the researchers, of which the Canadian expert Michael Geist reports among others, establish the following: in assessing the population that uses P2P, “a strongly positive relationship was identified between file sharing and the purchase of CDs “. Basically downloaders are also more likely to spend money on original records to the extent of 0.44 CDs per year for a monthly download.

Furthermore, when you add up the population of downloaders and that of non-sharing citizens, you get a substantially nil sum, therefore there is no no direct correlation between file sharing and the traditional music market . Or to put it in the words of the researchers, “the analysis of the entire Canadian population reveals no relationship, whether positive or negative, between the number of files downloaded from P2P networks and purchased CDs”. In short, no direct evidence suggesting an effect of any kind of illegal content sharing on the legitimate content market, at least in Canada.

The study, as Geist suggests and points out, it was not conducted at the behest of any particular sponsor and therefore has no partisan cause to plead, both within the multimedia industry and beyond: Industry Canada, the independent government commission that commissioned it, only intended to collect as objective data as possible in view of future policy decisions on topic.

And, in the opinion of the authors, The Impact of Music Downloads collects empirical information like never before, information identified in the context of file sharing using for the first time representative macroeconomic data in the cognitive investigation.

In addition to drawing the above conclusions, the study also takes into consideration a number of issues frequently discussed when it comes to P2P, such as the correlation – non-existent – between unauthorized and legal downloads from stores such as iTunes, the price of CD and home receipts that they substantially have no impact on media purchases the zero effect of digital purchases on physical ones and the higher number of discs purchased by those who already spend a lot on other forms of entertainment such as DVD, cinema and video games.

According to Geist, the study is a “must-read”, since although it is “hard” for non-economists, it is yet another authoritative confirmation of the fact “that the industry has benefited from P2P and that there is no emergency that needs interventions special legislative “. And it is probably a message directed not only to Canadian copyright associations but also to the US RIAA, which has done the alleged damage of file sharing to the lives of workers and majors. one of its brightest identifying banners .

Alfonso Maruccia