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Study Says P2P Downloaders Buy More Music

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the not-all-that-kooky dept.

Music 158

An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist posts to his site about a study commissioned by the Canadian government intended to look into the buying habits of music fans. What the study found is that 'there is a positive correlation between peer-to-peer downloading and CD purchasing.' The report is entitled The Impact of Music Downloads and P2P File-Sharing on the Purchase of Music: A Study For Industry Canada, and it was 'conducted collaboratively by two professors from the University of London, Industry Canada, and Decima Research, who surveyed over 2,000 Canadians on their music downloading and purchasing habits. The authors believe this is the first ever empirical study to employ representative microeconomic data.'"

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Bias in the study? (5, Insightful)

Guido del Confuso (80037) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222687)

According to the study:

...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.
However, it is important to remember that correlation does not equal causation. It seems just as probable, if not more so, that people who buy more CDs are more likely to engage in file sharing.

I find it curious that they would phrase their results in such a manner. From the data gathered in the study, I believe it is impossible to determine causation. To me, this throws their entire credibility into question.

Re:Bias in the study? (5, Insightful)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222719)

I agree that correlation does not equal causation.
But at least this study shows that people who download, will still buy CDs.
And people who don't buy CDs are less likely to use p2p too.
So, simply people who like music will get it, be it CD or P2P.

Re:Bias in the study? (2, Interesting)

Nossie (753694) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222903)

hmmmm well I haven't bought any music since the days of napster... however I do buy 2-3x the merchandise at gigs that I use to. I really doubt I'm in the minority... and I hope the large record labels die because of it.

Maybe Sony would start making decent hardware again....

Re:Bias in the study? (3, Funny)

butterwise (862336) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222999)

I do buy 2-3x the merchandise at gigs that I use to. I really doubt I'm in the minority... and I hope the large record labels die because of it.

Maybe Sony would start making decent hardware again....
Either that or really cool t-shirts and glow-sticks.

Re:Bias in the study? (3, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223219)

I haven't bought any music since 1984 or so. Well, I mean new music. That was about the time I began to realize just what a bunch of jerks the studios are, and decided not to give them any more of my money. I still liked music, however, so I just switched to buying used discs. That meant I couldn't get the latest-greatest hits right away, but since my tastes run more towards classical or older pop/rock that didn't matter. They haven't gotten a penny out of me in decades, and given their more recent behavior I'm actually proud of that.

Re:Bias in the study? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21223335)

A great answer to the problem, and no stealing involved. Nicely done.

Re:Bias in the study? (4, Insightful)

Nossie (753694) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223893)

That is illegal too if you ask the RIAA, at least in their eyes.

Re:Bias in the study? (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223757)

First I tried to avoid any Notreally-CDs. Then I realized that I am in fact rather nonmusical. I just gave up on listening to CDs altogether. I was never listening to music radio stations anyway. So I didn't buy any CDs since about ten years, and I never missed it.

And yes. I don't have ANY music files on all my PCs execpt for those that came with the games I installed. And I don't own an MP3 player.

Re:Bias in the study? (1)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 5 years ago | (#21224571)

Purchasing the used discs just increases the value of used CDs, and enhances the original buyer's ability to buy more new music. Kind of like how a strong used-car market increases the resale value of certain cars. The more $ the seller can get, the more they can spend on their next new car. Go to a Toyota or Honda dealer, and you're almost certain to hear about how great their resale value is - which helps alleviate the sticker shock.

(my first car analogy on /. - yay for me)

So anyway, I would argue that the music industry *is* getting a few pennies out of you, however indirectly.

mnb Re:Bias in the study? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21223525)

hmmmm well I haven't bought any music since the days of napster... however I do buy 2-3x the merchandise at gigs that I use to.

If you are even close to the early thirties age your UID # suggests it is no surprise you now buy 2-3X the merchandise you used to:
Your inflation-adjusted real world buying power has probably increased at least three fold since the days of Napster.

Re:mnb Re:Bias in the study? (1)

Nossie (753694) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223753)

I guess your right, I'm about that age.... I dont buy albums and dont download songs..

I just download discographies. you can love me or hate me (or both)

but this is a post I made on the whole university defying the RIAA over on the 'gg' site...

"Oh really, why don't you explain to us how this artist will make money by distributing his product for free."

merchandising, gigs... you know -- what they've done for hundreds of years before the mafiaa came on the scene?

Keep in mind that most artists make NOTHING from their record sales... (and the ones that do like Madonna and Metallica dont deserve to imho)

You can say all you like about the promoting etc that they do but in all honesty I'd rather give my money to 30 good quality local bands than 2 international bands where most of it goes to the labels... so what if I might never hear about Madonna and Metallica.... if I dont know of them would I miss them?

The whole business model NEEDS to change. A hundred or so years ago people paid bands for what value they thought they were worth, right now 10% of the bands live superstar lifes while another 30-40% make a meger wage minus deductions and 'services' done by the record industry. The other 50% are the ones you see playing down your pub, or your friends bands that come round to jam.... or the band that will have one good hit and then get forgotten about for the rest of their career.

I realise that many of you guys are musicians, I realise that you'd all like to make SHIT loads of money (we all would)... but what are the real chances of that? zero to nil. Wouldn't you prefer to be guaranteed a half decent amount of money if the chances of making it big in your country were much much higher?

At the end of the day.... you are just doing a job like everyone else..... what makes you so special?

The truth is that most real bands start making music because its fun, they love doing it... because of that, even if you aren't willing to charge the price the market asks for, eventually someone else will. The same applies to sports... look at the big bucks your superstars are making, and then go down your local and see the majority of players playing for very little if not free.

Then again, maybe I'm the only one that finds it sad when the many small clubs/bands (look at the Scottish soccer league as a good example) go bankrupt because the larger few (Rangers and Celtic) extort their fans and buy up all the players whether they need them or not. And I'm not even a football fan :-|

Re:Bias in the study? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21223245)

Are we sure it doesn't mean that pirates are liars and say they buy lots of CD's when asked? I mean if they "steal music" (OK, violate copyright), then why not lie about it too?

In all seriousness, I have to doubt the validity of any study that merely asks people about their relative percentages of legal and illegal activity. Especially people who probably have an agenda. I don't know if there is some way to control for the tendencies people would have to "over report", but it would have to be pretty shaky.

Does this mean... (5, Funny)

adsl (595429) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223395)

Does this correlation finding mean that the RIAA should pursue and find reasons to sue people who don't use P2P, because thse are the very people NOT buying CDs?

Re:Bias in the study? (1)

edis (266347) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223445)

P2P has twofold impact on CD sales:

1. There is replacement of media occuring, where, having P2P, customer does not
need CD store anymore - even if all, he gets, is faceless, lossy processed,
part of the original record. He is happy, having spent $0 and got that much.

2. As medium to excercise records hobby, P2P keeps that one up over others,
and provides means to examine, wherever one wants, what all those artists of possible
interest, have done, or are doing. It is great source of discovering new sympaties,
and getting to know more. As such tool, it supports music fan, and helps him
choosing his next wish for occasion, be it CD, SACD or DVD (which I, personally,
opt for more and more). There is big benefit, well worth money spent, for records collector,
in original media, over mp3 samples - record quality, original package, video stream and
realistic surround sound for some media.

So, we have not single influence of P2P on media sales, to talk about, but that, complex.

Corporate GREED in record BUSINESS got to be trimmed, however, if that is, how new
artists can be raised/supported - it is not about bad things only, then, and some premium
paid, better be redirected for that purpose. New models for direct artist support,
might be excercised, as well.

Re:Bias in the study? (1)

dogsbreath (730413) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222751)

As usual with newspaper reports of research there is not enough information to know how the summary was arrived at. You would have to see the questions and the stats to understand the correlations. So you can not tell if there were or were not questions that show a cause-effect relationship between p2p and purchases. On the face of the news report the conclusion is not supportable... but experienced researchers likely have included a lot more in there poll then is reported.

Re:Bias in the study? (4, Insightful)

Guido del Confuso (80037) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222799)

I see what you're saying, but I'm not even sure how you could pose a question like that. At least, not one that would give you reliable information upon which to base such a conclusion.

I think what they've shown here is that P2P sharing does not decrease CD sales. That is, there is not a negative correlation. In fact, there may even be a positive correlation. But claiming that one causes the other strikes me as a politically biased conclusion. In other words, they set out to prove a position, and interpreted the facts in order to support that conclusion.

In addition, I think part of their hypothesis is flawed:

H2b. People who engage in music downloading and P2P file-sharing do so partly because they wish to hear a soundtrack or an artist before buying. Thus, there is a positive relationship between P2P file-sharing and music purchasing.
First, this is poorly worded. Are they asking whether everyone engages in P2P filesharing has a partial desire to preview music? Or rather that some P2P filesharers have such a desire? Second, the conclusion does not logically follow. Whether some people use P2P to preview music, it may or may not be enough to offset the number of potential people who use P2P in lieu of buying music. Therefore, proving that some people do use P2P to preview before buying does not prove that "there is a positive relationship between P2P file-sharing and music purchasing."

Again, I'm not disputing the statistical results of the study. I believe it is a reasonable conclusion that P2P file sharing does not have a significant negative impact on CD sales. What I am disputing is the conclusion that P2P sharing increases sales of CDs. It may or may not actually be true, but that fact simply does not appear to be supported by the evidence.

Re:Bias in the study? (1)

Palpitations (1092597) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222897)

I don't purchase music that falls under the RIAA in general. I don't download it either.

The music I listen to is either made by people I know and who give it to me for free - or it's from small studios (for the most part). What I don't get copies of for free, I'll check out on Soulseek or BitTorrent. I'll put it in my playlist for a week or two. If I don't like it, I delete it. If I enjoy it, I seek out a way to purchase it from a source that's as close to the artists as possible so that they get the largest cut of profits possible.

I don't see that as any different than going to a music store that lets you put on some headphones and sample the CD before you buy it. Or, for that matter, record stores that have turntables set up letting you listen to any vinyl they sell before you decide to buy (which any decent record shop does).

The only exception would be white labels that are produced in extremely limited runs... And I don't think any of the musicians putting those out would complain.

Really, it seems to me that the whole anti-piracy MAFIAA tactics focus on people who have no taste. Not that it makes what they're doing right by any means, but at least by not caring about the latest shitty pop-music, I insulate myself from their tactics a bit ;)

Re:Bias in the study? (2)

RecoveredMarketroid (569802) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223109)

I think what they've shown here is that P2P sharing does not decrease CD sales.


How, exactly, have they shown this? The people who are using P2P and also buying CDs, might very well be buying more CDs in the absence of file sharing. You might not believe (or like) this possibility, but I don't see anything (in the data) to suggest that it's a less valid possibility than your conclusion.

Re:Bias in the study? (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#21224515)

The people who are using P2P and also buying CDs, might very well be buying more CDs in the absence of file sharing.

And yet, in the very first conclusion in the Summary of Findings, the authors write:

In the aggregate, we are unable to discover any direct relationship between P2P file-sharing and CD purchases in Canada. The analysis of the entire Canadian population does not uncover either a positive or negative relationship between the number of files downloaded from P2P networks and CDs purchased. That is, we find no direct evidence to suggest that the net effect of P2P file-sharing on CD purchasing is either positive or negative for Canada as a whole.

An awful lot of people in this thread are jumping up and down as if the correlation between CD purchasing and P2P use somehow supports the theory that P2P is good for music sales really. It doesn't, and in fact the study explicitly examined the overall effect across the wider population and found no clear impact either way.

This could be explained in several simple ways. For example, one possibility entirely consistent with both the conclusions mentioned in TFS is that while music-lovers tend to buy CDs and download over P2P, some P2P sharers buy more CDs as a result, some buy fewer, and the two effects broadly cancel out.

Re:Bias in the study? (1)

snarkh (118018) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223199)

But claiming that one causes the other strikes me as a politically biased conclusion. In other words, they set out to prove a position, and interpreted the facts in order to support that conclusion.

At least it is a refreshingly novel bias. We have seen too many biases in the opposite direction.

Re:Bias in the study? (3, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223285)


I believe the relevant quote starts something like "He who fights monsters..."

Re:Bias in the study? (1)

Ogemaniac (841129) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223791)

Holy wrong, Batman!

"I think what they've shown here is that P2P sharing does not decrease CD sales. That is, there is not a negative correlation. In fact, there may even be a positive correlation. But claiming that one causes the other strikes me as a politically biased conclusion. In other words, they set out to prove a position, and interpreted the facts in order to support that conclusion"

They have shown nothing of the sort. To do that, they would have to show that people who download purchase the same or more CD's than they would in the absence of p2p. In no way have they down this.

Actually, this study just confirms common sense. People who are interested in music both DOWNLOAD and BUY CD's. Duh. One would EXPECT a very strong correlation between the two. All this study has down is to show that the positive correlation driven by interest is larger than the negative correlation of p2p (presumably) decreasing CD sales. It has not in any way shown that this correlation does not exist.

Re:Bias in the study? (4, Interesting)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223063)

The thing is, this debate is not particularly relevant. It's latched onto by Slashdotters in part, I think, to assuage their guilt for pirating music and prove how the RIAA is composed of nothing but greedy, self-serving bastards.

They aren't wrong. The problem is that the people who are opposed to illegal P2P file sharing of copyrighted music don't care what happens in bulk. They care whether or not an artist is getting paid when you receive that artist's music. The fact that you download, three CDs worth of music and purchase five CDs, for example, doesn't matter to them unless three of those five purchased CDs are the ones you've downloaded.

I'm sure anybody who has pirated music can point to a situation where they did indeed buy the CD (or specific tracks in the days of iTunes and the like) after pirating some or all of the tracks from it. I'm sure, if they are being honest, that they can also admit times when they downloaded songs that they never ended up buying. I think that in most cases, the latter situation would be the more common one.

I'm not meaning to imply that the RIAA is the champion of artists; they're not. They are the champion of record labels who historically have done whatever they can to screw the artists. I'm saying that if somebody opposes illegal downloading, they care whether each artist is compensated for their music and not whether artists as a whole are compensated.

And thus why the debate is really useless. Those people are not going to be swayed by any of these reports, whether they are truly concerned about the artists or using them as distractions for their own financial gain.

The debate worth having, as always, is how "we" get the people who download music and don't pay for it to become paying customers. You'll never get everybody, of course--at least not without giving it away free--but various approaches have their own benefits. The lower the price point, the higher the demand is a fairly obvious one. That site that just popped up with prices that fluctuate based on demand is an interesting experiment, though I think it goes the wrong way (prices increase as demand increases). I think the best experiment was the group that allowed you to name your own price for the CD.

All of these ideas likely need to be refined, but that is the direction we should be focusing our intellectual efforts in. As a nice side effect for the Slashdot crowd, the likelihood is that as systems such as those become more and more successful, the RIAA dies a little more and more. Artists and consumers both stand to win.

I don't think it will be long now.

OT response: Not all Slashdotters pirate music! (1)

sgtrock (191182) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223861)

The thing is, this debate is not particularly relevant. It's latched onto by Slashdotters in part, I think, to assuage their guilt for pirating music and prove how the RIAA is composed of nothing but greedy, self-serving bastards.

Sorry to disappoint you, but the union of the sets of Slasdotters and those who pirate music isn't exactly one to one. Many here have posted at one time or another that they don't DL music at all, either legally or otherwise. I fall into this category. Many others have said that they only use legal services of one sort or another. How large that total fraction is I have no way of telling, of course. However, based upon the number of comments that I've read in the past I'd say it's at least a sizable minority.

Besides, the Slashdot readership is tiny compared to the numbers who do pirate music. Even if every single active Slashdot reader was doing that, we'd still wouldn't even show up as a major subset of those who pirate music.

So, can we please stop conflating the two? Thank you.

Re:Bias in the study? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#21224509)

They aren't wrong. The problem is that the people who are opposed to illegal P2P file sharing of copyrighted music don't care what happens in bulk. They care whether or not an artist is getting paid when you receive that artist's music. The fact that you download, three CDs worth of music and purchase five CDs, for example, doesn't matter to them unless three of those five purchased CDs are the ones you've downloaded. The problem with that is that they want the downloader to pay for the three they downloaded, when they only listen to one of them. They listened to all three, didn't like two of the three, liked the third and went out and bought all five CDs that artist had out.
The various music anti-piracy groups claim that illegal downloading music costs them sales. Studies such as this one demonstrate that,in fact, the evidence better supports the argument that illegal downloading supports their sales.
I would argue that the reason that the RIAA companies see a decline in music sales is that instead of producing music that meets customer demand, they try to shape customer demand to call for the music they think people want to hear.
I will make two arguments to support that last point.
First, everyone knows that the record labels reward radio stations for playing certain songs (using certain shell games to get around the anti-payola laws in the US). Every time one of the radio stations I listen to has a "listener request" weekend where they play only songs that listeners call in for, the play list for the next couple of weeks includes a bunch of songs that they almost never play ordinarily. After a couple of weeks these songs stop getting air time and it is back to the tired old play list, until the next listener request weekend when many of the same songs get requested again. This makes it seem obvious to me that these songs are well liked by the listening audience, but are not as well compensated for by the record companies.
Second, a couple of years ago Lenny Kravitz came out with a new CD. On the CD was a cover of "American Woman", the only song to get airplay. I really like the original, I didn't care for the cover. I have never heard any other song off that CD on the radio. However, a friend of mine who has similar musical tastes to mine downloaded the CD (illegally). He played it for me. I like every other song on the CD. If not for illegal downloading, I would never have heard those songs because the record company thought that the "American Woman" cover was the hit song. Based on the other songs on the CD and the fact that I am a fan of the original "American Woman", I am pretty sure that my musical tastes represent the target audience for the CD, yet the record company is not marketing the CD to people with my musical tastes, why not?

And thus why the debate is really useless. Those people are not going to be swayed by any of these reports, whether they are truly concerned about the artists or using them as distractions for their own financial gain.

The debate worth having, as always, is how "we" get the people who download music and don't pay for it to become paying customers. You'll never get everybody, of course--at least not without giving it away free--but various approaches have their own benefits. The lower the price point, the higher the demand is a fairly obvious one. That site that just popped up with prices that fluctuate based on demand is an interesting experiment, though I think it goes the wrong way (prices increase as demand increases). I think the best experiment was the group that allowed you to name your own price for the CD.

All of these ideas likely need to be refined, but that is the direction we should be focusing our intellectual efforts in. As a nice side effect for the Slashdot crowd, the likelihood is that as systems such as those become more and more successful, the RIAA dies a little more and more. Artists and consumers both stand to win.

I don't think it will be long now.

Re:Bias in the study? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21224617)

Last album I bought wasn't legitly playable on a pc under linux. It auto-installed a windows 'player', just to play the cd. It wasn't playable 'legitly' through any other player, on a pc. I couldn't rip the songs to a portable format 'legitly'. It was essentially useless to me.

I do care about the artists, but even the artists themselves don't like the record companies, and the customers don't like the record companies, and my sympathy for the artists (or infatuation!) has been leeched on far too long already by these companies.
If I wanna support an artist I'd rather go see a concert of theirs (and I hate concerts) than buying a 'regular' cd album. Last I heard that's what the artists themselves prefer aswell... funny that.

The artists and customers/fans are pretty much in agreement.

Statistician-speak (4, Insightful)

joel.neely (165789) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222801)

I believe that the language quoted is typical of statisticians talking about the data (think "graph") rather than the underlying observed system. In other words, I believe one should read it as short-hand for

The segment of the sample which downloads X + 1 times per month was observed to purchase 0.44 CDs per year more than the segment of the sample which downloads X times per month.

I believe that professional statisticians and researchers understand the difference between describing 'the effect" of moving around on the graph of results (correlation) versus claiming cause and effect in the underlying system.

However, quibbling over statistician-speak is irrelevant to the key point that people who were observed to download more music were also observed to buy more CDs. This result drives a stake in the heart of the RIAA argument that people download music instead of purchasing CDs.

Re:Statistician-speak (2, Insightful)

Guido del Confuso (80037) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222867)

I just don't agree with you. The statement is pretty clear. If they wanted to say what you said, they could use phrases like "is correlated with". They did not. They wanted to show that P2P increases CD sales, and that's the claim they made.

Also, as I said before, this doesn't really prove anything. It could be that people who buy more CDs are just more likely to engage in file sharing because they are music lovers. Put in economic terms, P2P sharing and CDs can be considered substitute goods. People will choose either one, depending on which is more economically suitable at the time (taking into account such factors as a desire to own physical media, bonus material, cover art, etc.--in other words, I don't mean just the price).

Let's say there's a guy who lives in North Dakota, and it's constantly snowing. He gets sick of buying salt all the time, so he installs a de-icing system in his driveway. However, the de-icer is not 100% reliable, and it doesn't cover all the area he wants thawed. So he continues to buy salt in lesser amounts.

Compared to a guy in Florida, you could reach the same conclusion: People who install de-icers buy more salt than those who don't. That conclusion ignores the fact, however, that were it not for the de-icer, our North Dakotan friend would buy even MORE salt than he otherwise would. In any case, because he has a need or desire for thawing his driveway, he will certainly buy more than the guy in Florida. As I see it, the RIAA's argument is still valid.

I don't really agree with the RIAA's argument, but I don't think attacking the logic behind it is a constructive way of defeating it. I certainly don't think this study accomplishes that. I have the suspicion, however, that that's exactly what this study was designed to do. And that is why I doubt its methodology.

Re:Statistician-speak (2, Insightful)

ThePromenader (878501) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223269)

Yes, but don't get side-tracked by your own desire to express your misgivings with the study - did you read it? - there's no need to "interpret" their conclusions to determine their "stance" as you have done - the whole point is that they have no stance. They have collected data on the exchange of music (in all its formats and forms) - a unique pool of data - then categorised that data. Thus your "salt and de-icer" reasoning/comparison is not a good one. Their conclusions are based on that data, and not the other way around as you would imply.

It is written in plain language "The primary objective of this paper is to determine the effects of P2P file-sharing on purchases of CDs and electronically-delivered music tracks" in both the introduction and conclusion of the study. They did indeed determine the effects, and their data showed that... people who download music (for free) also buy more music. If they or anyone wants to add their own level of hypothetical "cause and effect" reasoning to that, they can, and this can subsequently be questioned (especially if not proven through further study), but you can't use that second level of reasoning to discredit the data itself.

I would agree that many of the study's passages - and the order in which they appear - are badly arranged (their conclusion does indeed seem in places to be presented as the reason for their study), but it is obvious, after reading, that they went about collecting their data in a completely scientific and unbiased way.

Re:Statistician-speak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21223683)

That's a rather poor analogy. The guy buying the de-icer has a limited area of driveway to de-ice. The music buyer can buy as much music as he can afford, and still download more music above and beyond what he can afford for free.

Re:Statistician-speak (1)

Jarjarthejedi (996957) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223721)

"I just don't agree with you. The statement is pretty clear. If they wanted to say what you said, they could use phrases like "is correlated with". They did not. They wanted to show that P2P increases CD sales, and that's the claim they made."

"The segment of the sample which downloads X + 1 times per month was observed to purchase 0.44 CDs per year more than the segment of the sample which downloads X times per month."

Dude...I want some of what you're on. If it lets you interpret someone saying they observed a statistical behavior as making a claim then it must be really good stuff. Saying that a correlation was observed (even if you don't say the word correlation) is far from making a claim, that's like me saying 'I've noticed that Teenager's cars tend to be .34% dirtier than Adults' and you getting mad at me from claiming that Teenagers are slobs, not the same. Stating that 1 group was observed to do something more than another group is far from making a claim.

As for the rest of your post, I agree. This really doesn't prove anything, and it likely wasn't meant to. What it does do, however, is disprove the RIAA's findings (if we can even call them that) that p2p sharers don't buy any music.

Re:Statistician-speak (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223223)

This study drives a stake through nothing. Yes, people who buy more music also download more then people who buy less music. Would these people (from either category) have bought more music if they couldn't download anything? Both sets of people have equal access to illegal music and legal music. If we take away the access to the illegal music, does the amount of legal purchases increase? The RIAA says yes, most slashdotters say no. This study says nothing.

Re:Bias in the study? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21222819)

It seems just as probable, if not more so, that people who buy more CDs are more likely to engage in file sharing.

I think that's very likely. Anyone who's a bit of a music addict will download as much as they can and buy as much as they can afford.

Conclusion : Don't piss off your best customers. (4, Insightful)

DrYak (748999) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222865)

However, it is important to remember that correlation does not equal causation. It seems just as probable, if not more so, that people who buy more CDs are more likely to engage in file sharing.


The fact is : users who happen to download a lot, happen to buy a lot too.
No matter which causes which, there's an important conclusion to be drawn for media companies :

Stop harassing downloaders, because currently, you happen to be pissing off you best buyers.
Yes we know you **AA hate people who "illegaly steal" your stuff, but those people happen to be those who buy most of your CDs anyway, so be nice with them.

Re:Conclusion : Don't piss off your best customers (1)

Guido del Confuso (80037) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222887)

I think you've hit the nail on the head.

The RIAA has failed to adapt to a changing technological landscape. Whether or not they are actually losing sales to P2P sharing, they are nonetheless alienating their customer base by attempting to control it. In the end, I think they are shooting themselves in the foot.

We are already starting to see the backlash against them, and not just from the music buying public. We need look no further than the spate of artists who are experimenting with alternative distribution methods that circumvent the stranglehold the RIAA has on the music industry.

Re:Conclusion : Don't piss off your best customers (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223205)

your wromg, they've shot themselves in the foot, past tense, the market leaders are pretty much gone, thow they are feeling the effect of the loosing market-followers following the leaders

Re:Conclusion : Don't piss off your best customers (1)

ThePromenader (878501) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223317)

I'd also be careful of any of the "statistics" the RIAA puts forward, especially when they consider "lost revenue" to mean "the money we could have earned if every tune downloaded was paid for" - this reasoning is as flawed as it is irrealist.

Re:Conclusion : Don't piss off your best customers (1)

adona1 (1078711) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222991)

We've all known this for years. These types of studies have been trotted out from way back in the heady days of Napster, and all the way through KaZaA, eMule, Limewire, Bittorrent and whatever those crazy kids think up next.

What we also know is this study and any like it will be ignored by the MAFIAA and the lawmakers they have in their pockets. Hell, if studies showed that downloading caused their profits to go up 600%, they'd still stick their fingers in their ears.

Re:Conclusion : Don't piss off your best customers (3, Interesting)

rjforster (2130) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223113)

Stop harassing downloaders, because currently, you happen to be pissing off you best buyers.
Yes we know you **AA hate people who "illegaly steal" your stuff, but those people happen to be those who buy most of your CDs anyway, so be nice with them.


Yep. I'm off shortly to a concert by a band I've seen 3 times before. A band I only went to see the first time because I really liked their CDs. A band whose CDs I only bought because I really liked what I downloaded.

Re:Conclusion : Don't piss off your best customers (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 5 years ago | (#21224143)

Ditto here. And since I got burned copies of some of their disks, I've bought logo'd merchandise directly from their web site and gone to (tonight--) three of their concerts.

Re:Conclusion : Don't piss off your best customers (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223251)

Got any studies to show that people who have been sued by the RIAA buy less music? What about those the RIAA scare into ceasing their illegal activities? Do they buy less as well?

Until you can say yay or nay to these questions the RIAA will not see a profit in ceasing their activities beyond no longer losing the money they're paying the lawyers. Until now keeping that money hasn't been enough of an incentive.

Re:Bias in the study? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222883)

No, you're looking at it the wrong way. Like most people I'm too lazy to go to the store and buying music is more expensive than downloading it. Also I only want one track, not a CD full of filler. Most of the time I'm some random country and the only stuff I see in record shops is shitty local pop music, not the stuff that I actually listen to it which is pretty much Swedish/English/American alternative stuff.

You can't buy a Meteors CD in Asia no matter how much cash you have, because they only listen to Asian pop that makes me want to pull my ears off and nobody in CD shops speaks English. And it's hot and polluted as fuck out there and people keep jabbering in some incomprehensible but presumably local language when I ask them loudly and slowly in English for "Meteors! Fucking Meteors!", but my hotel is clean and air conditioned and has 100Mbit uncapped and untraceable internet and room service.

So I haven't bought a CD in years. If I can't download, I'd never get any new music. So downloading = good. And this study proves that all the other people downloading who presumably speak the language of the country they live in are buying more music. So I can use it to advocate laws against a crackdown on it on slashdot. I'm sure the RIAA will read this and decide to leave the Pirate Bay alone.

Re:Bias in the study? (1)

RanCossack (1138431) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223069)

Given the direction of the bias most of the "studies" into P2p file sharing go in, isn't it refreshing anyway? Frankly, though, I think we all know they're right. Look at Baen Books and their webscriptions.net; they *were* able to determine causation, and when they put books online for free as "loss leaders" for their for-sale ebooks, it gave a huge boost to those books as well as later ones in the series. (They're almost evil in how wonderful they are; lately, Eric Flint's been posting snippits from upcoming books on his blog... I can't think of a better way to make me want to buy them, and sure enough, I've preordered.)

Re:Bias in the study? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21223561)

Study subject of one, when I (as I allege about myself but do not confirm) downloaded music back in the late 90's, I bought CD's regularly. I did not buy CD's regularly before. When the My.Mp3.com decision came down, I decided not buy CD's or do that other thing. End result, the RIAA cartel lost a paying customer. I have lost out too. But now I have an iPod and PodCasts, for the most part, are free. Community-driven A/V is much better than the other stuff.

Re:Bias in the study? (1)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223633)

"It seems just as probable, if not more so, that people who buy more CDs are more likely to engage in file sharing."

If CDs are a cause of illegal file sharing I motion they should be outlawed! Let's cut the supply line of those pesky pirates!

Re:Bias in the study? (1)

SvnLyrBrto (62138) | more than 5 years ago | (#21224579)

> However, it is important to remember that correlation does not equal
> causation. It seems just as probable, if not more so, that people who
> buy more CDs are more likely to engage in file sharing.

Well, that should come as a big fucking DUHHH!!! to anyone with half a brain. People who are into music in a big way will still be into music in a big way regardless of the format it comes in. Why can I come up with that little bit of common sense, be the RIAA/metallica, with their million-dollar marketing types and focus groups can't???

Throw in the instant-gratification culture in modern America and it's easy to see when the album didn't come with the extended trance remix you heard at the party the other weekend, people who HAVE the CD won't hesitate to hop on Limewire and download the exact version the DJ played. OTOH, since it's well-nigh impossible to get a complete album off p2p (And most of the records I listen to, for example, are continuous DJ mixes.) those very same people aren't shy about going down to the record store and actually buying the CD. At the end of the day, if you like and consume music, you like and consume music.

In my own defense though, I haven't bought a *NEW* CD since the RIAA/metallica crusade against Napster and the tech industry. San Francisco is blessed with a wonderful, huge, comprehensive, and INDEPENDENT record store called Amoeba. I haunt it's aisles pretty regularly, and if the CD I want if from an RIAA/metallica label (They kindly provide a list [riaa.com] , a copy of which I leave in my car for when I go music shopping.) I buy used or do without until what I want IS available with that yellow tag.

So I get to have my cake and eat it too; with the added bonus that the store actually makes a higher margin off used CDs, so I'm supporting a local independent business that much more as well!

cya,
john

Correlation != Causation (4, Insightful)

johndiii (229824) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222695)

It's not possible to do a controlled experiment in this context - to see if an otherwise similar group of individuals will buy more or fewer CDs if they do not have P2P access to music. So one cannot say whether or not such access reduces or enhances CD sales. It's quite plausible that the latter would happen, as a result of increasing immersion in the music culture, but it would seem to be very difficult to produce direct evidence.

However, this does reinforce the fairly obvious conclusion that the recording industry has chosen to use strongarm tactics on its best customers. It does not seem like the best of business models.

Re:Correlation != Causation (1)

dc29A (636871) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222825)

I am not so sure we can't do a controlled experiment. My situation was simple, prior to internet downloading I had about 50 or so CDs. I just didn't have the opportunity to discover new music because the one I like is never played on radios, so it was a very slow CD collection building process by friend suggesting bands by word to mouth. Now all that changed with mp3s from ftp, newsgroups, Napster and torrents. From about 1998ish my CD collection skyrocketed, I went from about 50 CDs to about 500+ today. Money was never an issue, I attribute my sharp rise in CD buying to the fact that I had access to a "try before you buy" system. A few of my friends are in the same position as me.

I am sure if more meticulous research is done, people could come to the conclusion that P2P doesn't really hurt labels (at least small ones). However, big labels will hurt badly no matter if people buy CDs or not. With the coming of P2P I pretty much stopped buying big label music. Not because of some protest but because simply put, the vast majority of "music" coming out of big labels is a steaming pile of horse manure. I discovered the whole indie label / specialized label music, which is FAR richer and I dumped the big labels.

Re:Correlation != Causation (1)

kamochan (883582) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222983)

I myself, and practically all of my friends, are in a similar position to yours. Easy try-before-you-buy leads to an increasing CD collection. Which all immediately get ripped to iTunes or similar for easy consumption. This is how the world works today.

Re:Correlation != Causation (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223079)

I am not so sure we can't do a controlled experiment. My situation was simple, prior to internet downloading I had about 50 or so CDs. I just didn't have the opportunity to discover new music because the one I like is never played on radios, so it was a very slow CD collection building process by friend suggesting bands by word to mouth. Now all that changed with mp3s from ftp, newsgroups, Napster and torrents. From about 1998ish my CD collection skyrocketed, I went from about 50 CDs to about 500+ today. Money was never an issue, I attribute my sharp rise in CD buying to the fact that I had access to a "try before you buy" system. A few of my friends are in the same position as me.
Maybe it's possible, but anecdotal evidence from a clique of closely related persons aka your friends, is roughly as far from a controlled experiment as it gets. For example, if I were to take the computer game market from my friends then PC gaming is king bar none, followed by Wii with GC/xb360/xbox on a third and nobody has ever heard of PlayStation - neither one, two or three. Sound like an accurate description? Not exactly. Part coincidence, part groupthink, part wanting to borrow games, part exposure on social gatherings, part recommendations, part same socio-eco-age-whatever group and whatever, chances are pretty good you and your friends aren't nearly as representative as you think.

Re:Correlation != Causation (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222855)

It's quite plausible that the latter would happen, as a result of increasing immersion in the music culture
And it's just as plausible that the opposite would happen, due to the easy availability of free music. I know people who buy more now because they get to try before they buy, and I know people who haven't bought a CD in years because they no longer have to.

Hell, some days it seems like the whole systems department where I work does nothing but trade stuff they've downloaded...

Re:Correlation != Causation (1)

DMNT (754837) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222959)

I disagree. I think you can do a controlled experiment.

First of all, have a sales prediction for a new record. Check if the record is leaked before publication and if not, check how fast the music appears on p2p. Then model the effect of appearance in p2p to sales (if it has any.) If the availability in p2p has a major effect then the sales go down with the availability. If p2p has a positive (or neutral) effect then the sales go up. If the leak time has no effect then the p2p availability doesn't affect sales.

Re: in this case, Correlation = often Causation (1)

tfg004 (974156) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223789)

I legally own about 200 DVD's, of which about 150 I bought after having illegally downloaded and liked the movie.
(The other 50 after having seen the movie in the cinema, when I already knew the movie would be great, or on TV).

When I don't like a movie, I don't want to spend money on it. So, when I don't know a movie, I'll not buy it!
If I wouldn't have downloaded movies, the movie industry would hardly have made any money on me.

It's the same with music. I'm planning to buy some music CD's again this week, which I have downloaded recently.
First I didn't know the music well, only one or two songs per album. In such I case I just won't blindly (deafly?) buy a full album, I want to know the other songs first as well.
When I like an album very much, I just want to own the original album (although I might still be using the mp3's on my computer for convenience).

I know quite some other people who buy music and dvd's the same way. Try before you buy!
Because of this, I think, there is indeed (at least some) causation in this correlation.

-tfg

obvious Logic (1)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222729)

I like music therefore I get lots of it, most of it I buy, but some of it I either can't find, am not willing to pay for or for some other reason don't buy, I simply download instead. That does not mean I am a peer to peer user therefore I buy music too. I am a music lover therefore I do BOTH, the summary seems very swung to one side which is simply false.

Well of course! (5, Insightful)

Erpo (237853) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222737)

there is a positive correlation between peer-to-peer downloading and CD purchasing.

Well of course. This study makes it perfectly clear that P2P downloading leads to CD purchasing, so P2P is obviously helping the music industry.

Wait a minute. Before P2P some people liked to buy a lot of CDs and some people didn't like to buy CDs at all. Those people who liked to buy a lot of CDs are now buying fewer CDs and downloading music illegally instead. Those people who didn't care much about music before are not downloading musically illegally because they don't want it very much. So P2P is obviously hurting the music industry.

Oh wait. I can come to two different opinions based on the same evidence depending on what mood I'm in and the people I listen to. Maybe I should recognize that it's totally possible to make a convincing argument for a statement that isn't true. Maybe I should re-evaluate some of the things I'm dead certain about.

Let me help (1)

The Iso (1088207) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222773)

I know I'll be modded down for this, but you make a good point.

Re:Well of course! (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222963)

Those people who liked to buy a lot of CDs are now buying fewer CDs and downloading music illegally instead... I can come to two different opinions based on the same evidence
This claim isn't based on evidence at all, much less the evidence of the study which says that P2P increases CD sales. It's not an unplausible conclusion, but you provide no evidence for it. Care to do so?

Re:Well of course! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21223177)

Wow, you totally missed the point. Reread the GP, please: It explains how the study provides evidence for that conclusion.

I'll give it a shot: the study does not show what happens throughout time to a certain person who gets P2P (which would be necessary to show "that P2P increases CD sales"), it just shows what you can say about a person today if you know that that person uses P2P today (which is that that person is likely to also buy CDs). The GP shows how that result could very well mean that the people who like music both buy CDs and P2P, but would buy even more CDs without P2P; and thus you cannot conclude, from this study alone "that P2P increases CD sales."

You can conclude other things, such as that the music industry would do worse without P2P users.

Re:Well of course! (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223451)

The claim

Well of course. This study makes it perfectly clear that P2P downloading leads to CD purchasing, so P2P is obviously helping the music industry.
also isn't supported by evidence either. I find it interesting you call him up on one point, but not the other.

Re:Well of course! (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223617)

I'm assuming that the OP is taking the study's claim at face value.

Living Example (2, Interesting)

endemoniada (744727) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222743)

I'd stand up and volunteer as a living example proving this study, if it weren't for the fact that I now refuse to buy most CDs. The only CD I will ever buy from now on is one sold by the band itself. If there is any connection to a major record company, I won't buy it. Simple as that.

Same with downloads. I'll gladly pay $5 for the new Saul Williams when it comes in DRM-free FLAC lossless and with all the album art. Money isn't the issue, neither is motivation. I just don't want to - in any way, shape or form - support the dying record companies.

That's all good and well, but... (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222831)

the specific note saying that you do not -buy- CDs from major record companies and you don't -purchase- music online that is DRM-encumbered/a major record company product may be perceived as implying that you'll still download these via 'alternative sources' ('piracy' blabla). Now this may not be the case for you, but it is the case for many, many people; and I can't help but think that it is such a hollow protest when one says "I hate X, therefore I won't buy their product Y - I'll just pirate it!"

Re:That's all good and well, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21223951)

Nowhere did the poster state that they still acquire the material. Ever considered some people simply don't bother getting it on any media? I gave up with buying music a long time ago, just getting the odd CD from bands I've followed over the years. I rarely download stuff either. Why? Because the bands writing and playing their own material is becoming rarer and rarer, and we're being offered largely generic crap. I've over 1000 CDs, a fair number ripped, I don't need new material. I'm far from being alone. Ask people aged 30+ .

Re:That's all good and well, but... (1)

endemoniada (744727) | more than 5 years ago | (#21224427)

Why is that a hollow protest? If McDonald's were to start serving meat from cows that were abused and tortured, and you wanted to boycott them, does that mean you also boycott every single hamburger joint in existance? Probably not.

I refuse to give money to the record labels. It really isn't more complicated than that. Whether you think that automatically means I pirate it is up to you. I know what I do and what I don't do.

Can I say "me too"? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223467)

The last CD I bought was because I went to the artist's website and it started playing automatically. I could listen to the *whole thing* before deciding to buy, which I did.

The fact that I could buy from CDBaby, which tells you right there on the site how much of the money from the sale is going to the artist (in this case $6) was icing on the cake.

Actually, this story isn't 100% true....

The album I wanted wasn't on CDBaby, it was on Amazon, etc. CDBaby only had the artist's most recent album and I didn't really like it. Whatever, I downloaded the one I really wanted off P2P and bought the album on CDBaby so the the artist would get some money from me.

Moral: I've got money for music, I just don't have any money for the RIAA.

PS: It's good to see artists "jumping ship" and going to independent labels. I bet they make more money, too.

Ignoring Causality (3, Insightful)

keean (824435) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222753)

Of course if we ignore what the causes are, and we believe this report, we are left with the fact that by going after P2P file sharers aggressively, the record industry is attacking its best customers... this does not seem sensible behaviour for any business.

News Flash ! PirateBay says pirates buy more DVDs (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21222759)

Yeah, and pigs fly out your ass !!

seems rather obvious, and what should it prove? (2, Insightful)

Racemaniac (1099281) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222821)

people who care for music are more likely to download and/or buy
i hardly download any music, but neither do i listen to it often, or buy it. i do download lots of anime, and i've also got a good manga and anime collection i bought :).
besides it being pure logic that people downloading more are also more likely to buy (you don't download crap you don't care about), i fail to see what it's supposed to prove. that downloading completely inhibits buying is obviously not true. the claims are rather that people downloading are buying less than they normally would, and that could still be true. it's not because they buy more than people who don't download (and don't care), that they're not buying less than they normally would.

Re:seems rather obvious, and what should it prove? (2)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223419)

This is where I believe the vast majority of downloaders fall, including myself. Personally I haven't downloaded a song in years, or bought a CD. It just doesn't interest me anymore. But I will say that when Napster was king my music collection went up 10000% and my CD buying went to 0, simply because it was cheap and I could. Not because I had a passion for music. Or couldn't find it in the stores. It was just something to do. Of course the argument I could always throw out to justify was that I wouldn't have bought most of it anyway, so who am I hurting. In reality, I would have bought a little bit of it, so I did hurt a hand full. If you map the CD industry into providing a service (the ability to listen to their music), not a product(a physical CD), then you can argue that I received a lot while depriving the industry any revenue for it, thus 'stealing' from their bottom line. This is how they come up with their totally whacky $50 gazillion dollars lost for pirating numbers. The music industry has always believed themselves as a service. In the past they were able to provide the service by controlling the media it was on. Now they can't do that.

For every one of you who say you buy more CDs/music now because of the internet, there are X people like me who have bought less. The big question is the size of X. I honestly think it far outweighs the first. For every 'enthusiast' there's any army of average joes who really do it just to save a buck.

Of course, in the end none of this really matters to me at all. None of it compares to getting your legs blown off in Iraq.

Re:seems rather obvious, and what should it prove? (1)

Inverted Intellect (950622) | more than 5 years ago | (#21224363)

the claims are rather that people downloading are buying less than they normally would, and that could still be true.

This is indeed part of the original rationale for copyrights. However, this is not how the law actually works, and those who infringed are fined per infraction regardless of how P2P may reasonably have influenced their buying.

Such as in the recent case of the woman with several thousand dollars invested in music, presumably mostly from the RIAA, who got fined for approx. half a million dollars for having 20 songs shared. If she doesn't manage to get the case re-tried, she'll probably have to sell off her music collection to pay for a fraction of the fine.

Try before you buy (1)

Panitz (1102427) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222835)

To me this is just a case of try before you buy. Personally, and I assume most people don't want to buy rubbish music that they don't like. P2P lets us try the music out, and if we dont like it we will delete it, at least I do. If I do like it then I'll probably go and buy the CD. Really P2P should be motivation for bands to make better music, and have more than one decent song on an album.

Of course there are the usual people who exploit the whole P2P idea as a way of making money, these are they people the record companies should have grudges against.

My Experience (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222859)

There's really little reason to do P2P any more seeing as how sites like last.fm, Pandora Radio, and other places let you essentially program your own radio and listen to whatever songs as long as you have a network connection.

I'm a heavy user of Pandora Radio, and what I can tell you is that when it suggests songs and plays them for me, many times, I'll pop over to Amazon and buy the CD.

Now, much to the record company's dismay, I will buy them used most of them time, since it's usually 50% cheaper, but I think anybody who loves music and listens to a lot of music is always looking for something new, interesting and so the more you're exposed to music, the more you buy.

The only difference between now and 15 years ago is (a) the internet gives us a chance to listen to music the record companies aren't interested in pushing (b) the internet gives us the ability to purchase music in ways the RIAA aren't interested in selling.

I'm guessing all this talk about falling CD sales simply means "falling RIAA CD sales". I'll bet music sales are up overall.

Re:My Experience (1)

netean (549800) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223185)

perhaps the reason that people still need to buy CDs. 1 - Internet is not unbiquitous 2 - Broadband is NOT uiniversal 3 - BRoadband in many places comes with usage caps. listening to internet radio therefore becomes expensive (not just for extra bandwidth that might be needed, but the "cost" to your overall usage allowance.. 4 - CD players are still in cars 5 - Buying Cds mean you can rip to your own device (mp3 player, backup for car/home, put on your PVR etc)

Well no shit! (2, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222881)

Compared to who? People who don't download music, including people who don't give a shit about it?

People who have a greater interest in music buy more of it than those who don't? God Almighty, I hope my taxes didn't pay for this "study".

Re:Well no shit! (1)

Kythe (4779) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223207)

God Almighty, I hope my taxes didn't pay for this "study".


Are you from Canada?

Personal Experience (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222907)

Though I don't do P2P downloading of music samples anymore. (I consider the .mp3 format to be a sample of the music and not the original song, therefore not illegal or copy.) By the time I moved from Naptser to the Audigalaxy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audiogalaxy) thing, I'd find myself disovering bands I'd never heard of.

In fact, I wouldn't even buy music if I hadn't heard the band through sharing.

The last 100 or so CD's I've bought have been only because I'd heard samples downloaded on the file sharing networks.

It helps the non-RIAA labels more (3, Insightful)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222911)

The RIAA is well aware that p2p sells more CDs, their problem it it's often not their CDs.

My CD purchasing has vastly increased since I've been able to try before I buy using p2p... but I've mostly been discovering wonderful but tiny non RIAA labels, and unsigned bands who put out their own CDs, instead of blindly buying whatever lowest common denominator act the RIAA cartel is pushing with a recoupable advertising budget in the millions.

Without p2p, I'd never have risked buying a CD by Kattoo for example, but after a recommendation on OiNK, I bought all 3 Kattoo albums (hear them at http://www.myspace.com/kattoo [myspace.com] - stunning classical/IDM crossover music, but sales figures in 3 digits). I'm concentrating on obscure indie CDs not because it's not because I'm ethically opposed to the RIAA (even thought I am) but because I prefer it.

The truth is that the cartel only want people to buy their heavily hyped CDs, not CDs in general. It's not p2p's loss of revenue they have a problem with (they know p2p boosts CD sales), it's p2p's loosening the stranglehold they have on the market thats their problem with it.

The same goes for net radio, it's less susceptible to payola and features indie labels too much, that's why the RIAA want to tax it into oblivion.

(Disclaimer: I do have 1 on my own tracks on a compilation CD released on a non RIAA label myself, but I'm not slashvertising it here, go try that kattoo link instead, his stuff is amazing!).

and what if there was no P2P? (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222939)

The study says that P2P'ers buy more CDs. Fine, but it cannot say whether the existance of P2P has increased or decreased legal music sales overall - which seems to be the main gripe of the music industry.

When I buy CDs... (3, Insightful)

JumperCable (673155) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222955)

These days, about the only time I purchase music is when I see new band at one of the local bars. I purchase the CD if I enjoy hearing their music. I would not have purchased this CD otherwise. Nor would I have purchased any other CD in it's place. My excess funds tend to purchase investments.

The last time I bought a CD without seeing a band was several years ago before they started this whole 'kill internet radio' game. Once these hobbyists stopped spinning their tunes, due to the government backed racket set up to collect fees for playing, I stopped hearing music I enjoyed. So I stopped writing down band names & songs I liked. So I stopped purchasing their music. I would say there is a strong causation that the RIAA causes me not to buy music.

Not in my case (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#21222979)

Well, it USED to be that way, as being able to 'preview' would let me know i wanted to buy it. The risk of wasting 15 bucks with the style of music i listen to was great enough to prevent many purchases on sight only.

However, with the way they have been treating customers, and now knowing how little the artists get, in my case i stopped buying anything that is tied to the industry, and only buy indie music.

Re:Not in my case (1)

wojie (629440) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223929)

Perhaps it's fitting to remind everyone that the record industry pays its artists so little precisely because they suck so much. The pop industry is a lottery, and anyone could be the next Britney Spears -- it stands to reason that such a lucky party would be willing to accept pretty much any contract at whatever terms are offered.

The risk is on the industry side, in that their investment might not pay off at all, i.e., the 'artist' might suck so much that even luck and over-investment won't make them popular. But in the end, both parties agreed beforehand what they will be entitled to; and without such 'unfavourable' terms, all those crappy artists wouldn't even have a shot at luck, so they can count their lucky stars that some greedy RI execs want to gamble on their incompetence. I'd take the money any day of the week -- and most of all because I can't sing!

Correlation and causation (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223029)

Now, there are more reasons why buying music and using P2P could be related. Someone who has a high interest in music will most likely have heard of P2P and will most likely also use it. Of course, someone who has a high interest in music buys more CDs than someone who doesn't (who, in turn, might not use P2P for the same reason, it's no interesting tool for him).

Whether P2P boosts CD sales won't be proved or disproved that way. What this study proves without a doubt, though, is that the strongest buyers of music are also the heaviest users of P2P. In other words, the content industry is getting on the nerves of those that are their best customers. People who don't use P2P also don't buy many CDs.

So suing those people is a lot like slaughtering the goose that lays the golden eggs.

True for me (1)

toomanyhandles (809578) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223033)

I bought 10X more CDs during the year I tried out new music on Napster. Browse someone's shared music, find a group that I like, look for the CD. It was a great way to find fantastic artists outside of the top 20 that gets shoved onto the genre radio stations. Not to mention a way to hear music from genres other than pop rock, country, oldies rock, which pretty much covers radio programming. All kinds of music was added to my collection then, multiple artists from many labels, and really- not much since, comparatively. How else (well iTunes now a little, which is why it has done so well) to check out different acoustic guitarists, Celtic groups, traditional (whatever instrument)-- some of that is really neat and browsing by listening as opposed to browsing by catalog description means you know what you are getting. Give me what I need to decide/make a purchase and the industry sales go up. Can I have my MBA now?

Correlation is not causation. (1)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223035)

Correlation is not causation. Maybe they download more and buy more because they're music fans as oppose to non-fans who don't download and don't buy music.

Re:Correlation is not causation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21223413)

As much as I hate to take a position that the RIAA would apreciate, I have to agree.

It's too bad that the RIAA doesn't apply this same logic in the other direction though: Maybe the act of downloading a single track without paying is technically piracy, but Just because an individual downloads the occasional tune, it does not mean that they're NEVER buying stuff either.

The real issue is and will continue to be that the music industry is an apparatus that grew up in an age where there was a high barrier to entry for the artist. One could argue that the industry's always been a bit slimy in their contracts and whatnot, but the truth is that recording a professional quality master, duplicating it for commercial distribution, marketing, and distribution used to be a hugely expensive proposition. The industry (collectively) provided those needed services by leveraging economies of scale to do the work on behalf of multiple artists.

While its true that there is still a place for such services, they are no longer the ONLY GAME IN TOWN. It is now possible to make a very good quality master without having a multimillion dollar facility that costs phenomenal sums per hour to operate. Similarly, delivery media such as digital downloads are fairly easy for even the smallest band to produce the masters for (I'm thinking of MP3s and CD ISO files), and the Internet provides a way for bands to directly market to fans as well as to let fans do the marketing themselves. Distribution of physical media and getting songs on the radio can still be expensive operations, but Just-in-time production is available from the likes of Amazon, Cafe Press, and a host of others, and Internet Radio (if the industry doesn't succeed in killing it) is gaining popularity.

Basically, the industry is more concerned with protecting their existing business model (and their collective monopoly) rather than reinvent themselves to take advantage of / profit by the changes that technology is bringing. They're getting desperate, so in their minds... everyone who downloads or (gasp) shares any music is a big time pirate who is costing them millions.

For my part, I've gotten more and more into listening to obscure/unsigned artists. Does anyone remember mp3.com when you could go and listen to thousands of songs from any genre that had been published there directly by the artists? Sure, a lot of it was crap, but I made some really great finds there. Despite the fact that many artists allowed downloading of their MP3s, I purchased quite a few CDs from the site (with their just-in-time manufacturing).

Hey wow, I just realized that most of my reply doesn't really correlate with the parent post. Oh well, I guess I feel better for having said it. :)

Ive been saying that for years (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223045)

see sig...

Rootkits killed CDs for me (1)

chooks (71012) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223051)

I for one haven't bought a new CD (or asked for one) since the whole Sony rootkit thing came out. I never used to be a huge purchaser, but maybe around 1-2 dozen a year. But now I seriously don't have time to keep track of which CD's are going to screw up my computer and which ones don't. I don't P2P either -- meh, I just don't care enough. There is more than enough music in my music library to keep me happy that I don't need the latest and greatest release.

I can only speak for myself (1)

DollyTheSheep (576243) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223133)

I'm not much into P2P but I research a lot on YouTube. Increased listening and experimentation in before never heard music let me buy more music (CD or online) than ever before. So I'm a good example for the article. The RIAA is stupid (as if you didn't know that before).

Misleading summary, as usual (3, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223135)

This study does not say that P2P downloaders buy more music, but it underscores a commonly-known (but commercially ignored) fact: music lovers will get their music by any means necessary. P2P, mail-order, and the local record store; they're all equal players, and the price of an item is usually not the primary purchasing factor (unless said price is abnormally high). Convenience, in my opinion, is the primary factor. I'm a music lover (big time), and I hate the music industry... where did they go wrong ?

If I'm looking for something popular, chances are it will be all over P2P and I can get it in a matter of seconds. If I'm seeking a full album, or something less mainstream like an older release, Amazon might be my best bet. If I don't feel like buying online (and waiting for the mail), I'll stop by the mall on my way home from work. Either way, the moment I get home, the disc gets ripped to MP3 (SQ freaks, get off my lawn!). Every player I own is MP3, heck I still have my old MPTrip in a box somewhere, god bless that piece of shit!

The fact that the record store is my last resort says a lot about the industry. The concept of piling a ton of albums in a store is just dumber than dumb; it's like a warehouse, because you can't glean much information from the sealed package to help you in your purchase. The kid at checkout is little more than a cash jockey, he/she doesn't know shit about anything older than last week. Even Costco at least tries to demo the goods before you buy that big bland bulk box. Those listening stations with a half-dozen rap albums don't help either! Amazon has preview clips for a large number of albums. Vinyl stores will let you audition just about any record in stock, on a good set of headphones too - not the dollar-store junk they have at HMV or Music World.

I like the concept of iTunes, but it's wrapped in DRM and Apple's megalomania and I don't have an iPod, so to me it's more trouble than it's worth. I play most of my music in the car, on an MP3 deck that I've owned for years, and spent dozens of hours setting up and tuning for the tightest sound. If someone were to make a high-end iTunes-compatible car deck, it would be a step in the right direction (to me).

I know there are lots of smaller MP3 peddlers on the net, but I'm not after the indie stuff (sorry!), I want the big labels to grow a brain and offer the products I want to buy. Lucky for me, I'm into house music and Beatport is a godsend for that stuff... it's pricey at $1.99+ per track, but their model is great, you can preview almost every track, and download as a 320kbps MP3 or even uncompressed WAV for an extra dollar. Beatport is great, but they only cover house/techno. If someone would apply that model to mainstream music, I would be all over it.

It doesn't matter (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223193)

Whether it's true or not, it is not a worthwhile argument in favor of filesharing.  It is not for us to say what is good for another.

I still feel strongly that file sharing is a completely moral act.  I'm just saying that this old saw, even if proven, is not a logical argument in support of it.

True for me (1)

eli pabst (948845) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223239)

From my own experience, I used Napster back in the good old days and it allowed me to try new genres of music that I would have never been exposed to otherwise. I certainly wouldn't have walked into a music store and dropped $12 on a CD by a band that I've never heard of before. I found myself listening to everything from obscure techno groups to classical music and discovered a number of bands that I really liked and went on to buy every CD they put out. End result was that the RIAA got hundreds of dollars out of me that I wouldn't have spent otherwise and I still bought CDs by the groups I liked. Sure, I didn't go on to purchase every single song that I downloaded, but I wouldn't have bought them anyway.

The RIAA is killing themeselves (2, Insightful)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223243)

This just proves a simple fact, people won't buy music unless they have heard if for "free" one way or another, be it radio, someone else's MP3 player, internet radio, a YouTube video, a P2P download or as a secondary band at a concert. People don't just go out and buy a CD without not at least remotely liking one song and if a P2P download or even a YouTube video they will be more apt to get a CD by that band. Its not rocket (or computer) science, the P2P networks, and YouTube has replaced radio at least for the "unknown" bands that don't get played on major radio stations and its boosting their CD sales by a lot.

Wrong Order of Operations (3, Interesting)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223309)

1. Lets accept the premis that, this only shows a coralation between p2p and CD buying. People who download often also buy CDs often because they love the product and will get it any way they can.

2. Let us also take it for given that many of these downloads would be sales if they could not be had via p2p. There is not really any evidence for this but its what the RIAA would like to think so we will work with it.

It follows from one and two that their best customers are P2P users. In the RIAA view all p2p is piracy. So RIAA does it makes sense to

A) Relentless go after pirates who are also your best customers creating all sorts of ill will and hostility to your organization. Only after having eliminated piracy (good luck) do you offer your own products to people who now do business with you because you're still the only game in town and will be constantly seeking the next opportunity to shift things to formats you can't control and retun us to the current situaiton all over again.

OR do you ...

B) Try to offer products the digital customer wants. Downloads at a reasonable price where you can profit without profiteering. The customer having payed you fairly for your wares can then enjoy them how they wish. Their happy to do business with you because you provide a quality, safe, and reputable service they can't get p2p. These people become you best customers. The hold outs are really just the "pirates" who never buy any thing anyway and you then can go after them without alienating your good customers having separated the two groups.

one thing you can't expect to do is ...

C) Remain in business without offering any new products, especially products people want, know are possible, serve as competition to your own, and can be had at least in part for free elseware.

Another news: people who listen to music buy it (2, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223727)

So P2P users (who download music supposedly) buy more music?

Isn't it obvious? Those are people who listen to music. I don't listen to music, so I am not a P2P user and I don't buy music either.

Study Says P2P Downloaders Buy More Music (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21223759)

Way to try to justify your illegal activity, Slashfags.

mod uP (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21223907)

How to discredit a report (1)

Hemogoblin (982564) | more than 5 years ago | (#21223989)

Oh uh, the RIAA is not going to be happy with this report and I expect some sort of counterattack in the near future. Look out for some of the following tricks as described by my favorite show 'Yes Minister".

'There is a well-established government procedure for suppressing -- that is, not publishing -- unwanted reports.'

Stage one: The public interest
1) You hint at security considerations. 2) You point out that the report could be used to put unwelcome pressure on government because it might be misinterpreted. [Of course, anything might be misinterpreted.] 3) You then say that it is better to wait for the results of a wider and more detailed survey over a longer time-scale. 4) If there is no such survey being carried out, so much the better. You commission one, which gives you even more time to play with.

Stage two: Discredit the evidence that you are not publishing
This is, of course, much easier than discrediting evidence that you do publish. You do it indirectly, by press leaks. You say: (a) that it leaves important questions unanswered (b) that much of the evidence is inconclusive (c) that the figures are open to other interpretations (d) that certain findings are contradictory (e) that some of the main conclusions have been questioned. Points (a) to (d) are bound to be true. In fact, all of these criticisms can be made of a report without even reading it. There are, for instance, always some questions unanswered -- such as the ones they haven't asked. As regards (e), if some of the main conclusions have not been questioned, question them! Then they have.

Stage three: Undermine the recommendations
This is easily done, with an assortment of government phrases: (a) 'not really a basis for long-term decisions...' (b) 'not sufficient information on which to base a valid assessment...' (c) 'no reason for any fundamental rethink of existing policy...' (d) 'broadly speaking, it endorses current practice...' These phrases give comfort to people who have not read the report and who don't want change -- i.e. almost everybody.

Stage four: If stage three still leaves doubts, then Discredit The Man Who Produced the Report
This must be done OFF THE RECORD. You explain that: (a) he is harbouring a grudge against the government (b) he is a publicity seeker (c) he's trying to get his knighthood (d) he is trying to get his chair (e) he is trying to get his Vice-Chancellorship (f) he used to be a consultant to a multinational company or (g) he wants to be a consultant to a multinational company.

Reference: (The Complete Yes Minister, pp. 257-9)

Survey != Facts (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 5 years ago | (#21224051)

I lie all the time to surveys when they are unavoidable.

I skew them in the direction where the survey takers will believe what I want them to so they will behave a certain way.

Credit card statements and receipts are facts.

I hate Riaa. I just don't trust people. I don't trust Riaa. I don't trust most human beings either. They are nice enough-- but they lie... a lot. And they are illogical... a lot.

The ones that do not lie are generally unpleasant to deal with. And they *still* lie by warping their perception of reality (and self-serving illogic and misremembering) but believe they are not lying and being straight arrows. Give me a rogue, and I know I can deal with them and not be upset when my "trust" is broken.

CDs are obsolete. Who cares how many are bought? (4, Insightful)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 5 years ago | (#21224077)

Miraculous as they seemed in the 80s,
they are outclassed on a number of fronts by simple digital files,
as far as a consumer is concerned.
1. The digital file isn't tied to any particular physical object,
or player, or location. It's simpler. If I know part of its name,
I can be playing it a few seconds later.
2. The digital files can be more flexibly arranged in groups to different
tastes and purposes.
3. They can be stored on the Internet and communities of people
can review them, collate them very flexibly.
4. They don't encourage the production of cruft to fill extra
tracks on a CD album.

So why are we talking about CDs at all. That was so 80s.

The discussion should be how music artists should be compensated
in the post CD world.

I think Radiohead demonstrated the way forward.

The traditional music industry, by fighting an inevitable change,
is driving a stake into its own heart by guaranteeing its irrelevance.

Its really a simple concept but the music ind... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 5 years ago | (#21224327)

..industry seems to have been blinded by their greed.

The concept is try before you buy...

But since its illegal to try before you buy......

It all reminds me of the childhood story about a dog with a nice juicy steak in his mouth.
He trots across a small bridge and sees his reflection. His greed motivates him to take the steak away from his reflection.
Of course he drops the steak in his mouth into the running stream and loses...

I'll continue to avoid buying from industry organizations and search for independent artist buy directly from.
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