From Wired News: Study: Musicians Dig the Net (Update: See the table on page 19 of the Pew Report cited below!!)
Musicians believe the internet is an essential tool to help create and market their work, but at the same time more than half of artists say file sharing of unauthorized copies of music should be illegal, according to a new report.
The report, called “Artists, Musicians and the Internet,” found that only 28 percent of all artists surveyed consider file sharing to be a major threat to creative industries — contradicting the official stance of the lobbying arm of the record companies. About 43 percent agree that “file-sharing services aren’t really bad for artists, since they help to promote and distribute an artist’s work to a broad audience.”
Lots of interesting reading in the 61 page report, but here’s a notable set of statistics for you:
American artists have embraced the internet as a creative and inspiration-enhancing workspace where they can communicate, collaborate, and promote their work. They are considerably more wired than the rest of the American population.
More than three-quarters of all artists, 77%, and 83% of Paid Artists use the internet, compared to 63% of the entire population. Many site [sic] specific gains in their careers from their use of the internet.
- 52% of all online artists and 59% of Paid Online Artists say they get ideas and inspiration for their work from searching online.
- 30% of all online artists and 45% of Paid Online Artists say the internet is important in helping them create and/or distribute their art.
- 23% of all online artists and 41% of Paid Online Artists say the internet has helped them in their creative pursuits and careers.
- 4% of all online artists and 8% of Paid Online Artists say the internet has made it much harder for their work to get noticed.
- 3% of all online artists and 6% of Paid Online Artists say the internet has had a major deleterious effect on their ability to protect their creative works.
Two-thirds of the musicians in our online survey say the internet is “very important” in helping them create and distribute their music. Fully 90% of these respondents use the internet to get ideas and inspiration; 87% use it to promote, advertise and post their music online; 83% offer free samples online and notable numbers report benefits from that such as higher CD sales, larger concert attendance, and more radio play; 77% have their own Web site; 69% sell their music somewhere online; 66% use the internet to collaborate with others. Many independent musicians, in particular, particular, see the internet as an alternative way to bypass traditional distribution outlets.
And, even more saliently:
Like most internet users, online artists are also active consumers of media content online. But most who download files say if they get content for free, they usually support the artist or author in other ways.
Half of all online artists in our sample say they listen to music online at a radio station, music store, recording artist or music service Web site, and 58% of Paid Online Artists say this. That number is significantly higher when compared to our recent measure of all online adults; just 34% of internet users say they listen to music online.
Of those artists who download music files (n=118), most think that downloading has not really changed the total amount they spend on music purchases like CDs, concerts, or other music products (58% say this). Another 29% say they think downloading has actually increased what they spend on music purchases overall, and 13% say it has decreased their purchases. Likewise, among artists who either download music or video files (n=139), 86% say that when they download files for free, they usually end up supporting the artist or author in other ways, such as buying a CD or book or going to a performance. Just over half of all artists who download music or video files say they can’t always tell if it’s legal or illegal to download media files from the internet. More than two-thirds of the sample said they don’t currently pay to download any type of media files, but they would if the price, quality and choice they want become available.
NYTimes coverage: Pew File-Sharing Survey Gives a Voice to Artists; BBC News: Musicians ‘upbeat’ about the net; WashPost: Musicians Sing Different Tune on File Sharing [pdf]; Slashdot: Musicians on Internet & Filesharing
Much later: Musician’s Group Questions Pew Survey