FEARS that internet piracy is harming the music industry are overplayed, according to new research which claims that illegally downloaded songs will take years to eclipse the market for CDs.
The survey by Entertainment Media Research (EMR), a market analyst, reveals that internet music pirates buy more CDs from the high street than most other internet-savvy consumers.
The study found that the most prolific online pirates bought 21 per cent more CDs than the average among such consumers. Some 86 per cent of music pirates say they still prefer their songs bundled as albums. The most avid users of legal internet music stores, such as MyCokeMusic and Apple’s iTunes, bought 26 per cent more CDs than the average.
Patrick Johnston, a director of EMR, said that music pirates were also often “the music lovers”.
“Piracy is illegal and it’s clearly something that people shouldn’t do but in most cases it’s something that will help to put a track out into the marketplace,” he said.
[…] However, Peter Rupert, president of EMR, said: “Early signs suggest that legal downloading represents a major incremental business opportunity for the record labels.”