I initially missed this story last week about recent research that found that those who download music illegally are also 10 times more likely to pay for songs than those who don’t. Thankfully TorrentFreak pointed me to it.
The research findings are welcome news I’m sure to all modern day pirates :-), and for me also (as I get closer to succumbing to piracy). TorrentFreak attempts to explain why this finding might be the case:
The real reason is in fact very simple. The true music enthusiasts simply want to consume, sample and discover as much new music as they possibly can, and the most straightforward and convenient way to do this is through file-sharing networks. Music pirates are just regular consumers really, and they love music just as much as anyone else.
I’d like to delve further into the whole discussion about the findings, but I have to pull myself up, because once again this is a case where the research referenced is difficult to check. The source (UK Guardian) doesn’t link to the research, nor even to the BI Norwegian School of Management that they claim it came from (and I couldn’t find anything on their site about the research either). The Guardian does state however that the study was based on 2,000 users and asked for proof of purchase from those who said they purchased, so it seems to have some information about the study.
So this raises the issue of credibility (again). I’d really love to learn more about the behaviours of music pirates, and join the conversation about how piracy can be better understood. But sadly I just don’t have access to real, credible information. Admittedly there are credible studies like this one from Industry Canada (see here for a summary) but it is close to 3 years old now – I’m sure habits have changed dramatically since then.