P2P downloaders tend to buy more music

Are P2P thieves actually the music industry's best customers?

Are peer-to-peer music thieves the music industry's best customers? In an ironic twist to the music industry's woes, a new study suggests that P2P downloaders may buy more music than their straight-laced, non-P2P brethren. The results are non-conclusive one way or the other, but the researchers conclude:

However, our analysis of the Canadian P2P file-sharing subpopulation suggests that there is a strong positive relationship between P2P file-sharing and CD purchasing. That is, among Canadians actually engaged in it, P2P file-sharing increases CD purchasing. We estimate that the effect of one additional P2P download per month is to increase music purchasing by 0.44 CDs per year (based on estimates obtained from the negative binomial model in Table 4.3). Furthermore, we find indirect evidence of the 'market creation' effect of P2P file-sharing in the positive coefficient on the variable 'Not available elsewhere' (Table 4.3).

The research also indicates that the more someone is willing to buy music, the more likely they are to buy other forms of digital entertainment (games, movies, etc.).

This makes sense to me, as I fit the study. I buy a lot of music. I like the convenience of paying for a download over the web. In every instance I'll happily pay $.99 (or whatever) for a safe download from iTunes over a free download through Limewire or another P2P network.

It's all about convenience and distribution, perhaps the most compelling value driving digital music sales.

Via Slashdot.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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