Latest Updates

Study: Pirates buy the most music

Posted 21 April 2009 21:29 CET by Jared Newman

Despite their potentially illegal ways, people who download music without paying are actually the biggest buyers of legal content, according to a study out of Norway.

It’s important to note that the Norweigan School of Management avoided the word "illegal" when posing questions to its 1,900 survey respondents, and merely asked if they downloaded "free" music. But whether Aftenposten’s extrapolation that "Pirates are the best customers" is accurate or not, the point remains that consumers like to try before they buy.

The study asked people from around the country, ages 15 and older, about their music consumption habits. Respondents who downloaded free music said they went on to purchase ten times as much content through paid channels.

Of course, the recording industry is skeptical. Bjørn Rogstad, an executive at EMI, said an increase in consumption paired with declining revenue can’t be explained any other way than piracy (Nevermind altered a la carte downloading habits and the many venues for free music, such as Pandora, and MySpace).

Ars Technica points to a similar study from 2006, in which the Canadian Recording Industry Association found that P2P users buy more music. The real reason other people didn’t buy as much? Apathy. I imagine that within this group, there are people that download a song or two once in a while, and as a result they’re not buying anything at all.

It makes me wonder if the music industry should start engaging a wider group of people by giving away more free tunes, and not just the kind of streaming online tracks that you listen to once and forget about. I tend to get a little apathetic myself, but nothing piques my interest more than a free bundle of tracks, lurking on my iPod until I have to hear more. If the music industry can translate more distanced users into active downloaders, maybe revenues will soar once more.

No longer with us
Posted on: 21 Apr 09 23:45
It's Simple! If Tv Stations manage to pay all they employees, millions to actors in their series, etc... just with commercials!!! Yes, thats right, tv stations only bother to produce series that we all love to lure us into whach their commercials so that they can earn money!!!! So, why can't music industry do it to? If sony, bmg, WB, etc... had a site that for each album i'd have to wach a 30s commercial and pay nothing for the music, i'd do it!! Wouldn't you?
0 Agree

MyCE Resident
Posted on: 22 Apr 09 00:14
Personally, I feel the days of strictly making a living of off intangible works of art are slowly coming to an end. Artist need to realize this and find better ways to make a buck. Get out have concerts, sell mechandise, maybe paid subscription websites for fans for exclusive access to certain material. I mean there are many things you can do if you just think about it. Just my 2 cents....
0 Agree

MyCE Resident
Posted on: 22 Apr 09 04:52
Hypothetically if your an avid movie/music collector you can't afford to physically buy everything you want. I wouldn't be surprise of their are alot of "grey" area piraters, who buy their favorite things, and copy the rest. Making them both the customer and the enemy. RIAA/MPAA always goes on the assumption that everything downloaded is a lost sale, but they forget that everyone has a limited budget, and some people buy what they can and copy the rest.
0 Agree

CD Freak
Posted on: 22 Apr 09 08:24
I completely agree with Zod, because that was EXACTLY my case.
I won't hide that I used to download heaps of music through EMule, but that was when I lived back in Syria, in there, we had no originals if any albums AT ALL (specifically talking about Heavy Metal here) and if we had them, we simply couldn't afford it, an original Audio CD would cost my 1/3 my monthly income!!!!
So I downloaded the MP3s and enjoyed the music, and now I moved to Dubai, UAE, where I can actually buy the physical albums!!
And that's what I'm doing, I started with my most favorite albums, and then started to get the new releases, but I'm still downloading some MP3s from time to time as I'm not always allowed to listen to the album before I buy, and we don't have a return policy here (the only store selling metal here is Virgin, and you can't return the album unless defective, yet you can't open it and listen to it before you buy... now how's that supposd to be fair?) if it's interesting enough, I'll go buy it, if not, then I've wasted NO PENNY...

and one more thing, YES, we have limited budgets, but through downloading mp3s (even if we don't buy later) we're getting to know the music, and if it's worth it, we're actually spreading the word to others who would actually buy it...
Therefore, the RIAA is forgetting that the "Illigal downloaders" are a free advertising tool for the artists!!
maybe they've downloaded the MP3s once (1 album not purchased, but surely NOT STOLEN... the physical CD which actually costs "paper" money is still there on the shelf) but the word is spread through forums, CD reviews and ratings... and out of the 100 people reading the reviews, 5 are buying the album...

now let's see, it's like giving a free Promo to a guy who's going to give you 500% profit... do you really want to sue that guy?
and of course, remember that this "pirate" buys the bands merchandise and goes to all of their concerts...

last, if the album is crap... then WE should sue YOU labels and music stores, you're not allowing us to listen to the music, and your not accepting returns, so you're forcing us to blindly buy something we don't want through LYING to us...
Like someone selling you a Ferrari F50, and telling you that you can't check it from the inside before you pay, so you do, and when you get in, you find malfunctioning brakes, wooden seats, a 2-speed gearbox and a cheap 1.4 litre "Hyundai" engine... and they accept no returns...
Oh now I will sue YOUR A##...
0 Agree

CD Freaks Member
Posted on: 22 Apr 09 13:26
This is how it's always been. Artists never make money of cd sales anyways. They make like pennies on the dollar. The RIAA is the one who makes the most profit from cd sales. They not only rip off the consumer, they have been ripping off music artists since the beginning.
0 Agree

MyCE Member
Posted on: 23 Apr 09 15:27
Im 30 years old and have had a old up bring, very involved with the great grand parents, so i was exposed to old ways, and back in the day of the 78 REcords, yes they are old i must say, but at that time you could play before you buy. Why has this stopped? The primary reason the play before you pay was to check the record for defects, and with our better manufacturing its not usaly nessesary to check for that any more, but you still need to kjnow what your buying first, so this play before pay should be a must now. I my self download and i do buy as well, this sample before you buy is great and i discover new music better now that in radio days. I actually downloads a album once and i was so amazed by it that i bought it on amazon that same night! and i had the download until the cd came! I wish apple would sell physical cd and allow the download on top so they save me the trouble of ripping and i can listen to the download until the cd is recieved. Sueing customers is one way that you can garranty no more sales. if that ever happend to me i would never buy i again, i would just download to spite them. People need to fight with there dollar and put these Corps in their place.
0 Agree

CD Freak
Posted on: 27 Apr 09 08:57
Ok... and an update.. just to prove RIAA Wrong...

I have downloaded the complete "Edge of Sanity" discography 4 years ago (while i was still in Syria), as it wasn't available locally even as pirated MP3s!! the online order was (and still) unavailable for anybody living in Syria, and even if it was available, I was just a student, and I was working a part time job, which partially supported my college expenses!

So, I downloaded the albums, and came to be an addict to the band! and Dan Swanö was declared my personal MetalGod... I've spread the word and copied the mp3s to all those who've never heard of them, and the fanbase started to grow stronger in the land where they were never known...

and now after 4 years, I've just ordered THE COMPLETE discography of Edge of Sanity+ Dan Swanö's solo album+ a Vynil version of "Unorthodox" and I would've got the T-shirts were they not as ugly!!! and I got them all from their label, Black Mark records! they've given me a wonderful deal!... so... am I still a pirate?

If it wasn't for these "pirated" MP3s, this guy here would've NEVER heard of the band, and would've NEVER bought the oringinals...

RIAA... there's NOTHING as "Instant Money"... especially with Music, you have to WAIT to get your deal...

and now Scorpions & Pink Floyd's collection is building up an album after another after 15 years of a long waiting...

0 Agree


Register to

Register in 10 seconds, pick a username, enter your mail address and proof you're human, that's all!

An username is required and can only contain letters and numbers
Email is required, we'll send the password there

Welcome back

Sign in with your Myce account. Not a member yet? Create an account

A username is required and can only contain letters and numbers
A password is required

Post your comment settings

Several settings at can be changed, they are stored in cookies, which means they will be reset if you clear cookies


Change the background to a plain color or trianglified image (similar to the default image)

No tracking features

At Myce most social media feature are done server side and impose no privacy risk to the visitor when not used. Several features use Javascript with you can turn off here


Switch to the List layout for an index with chronologycally listed news items or Grid layout for a block based layout. To see the change you need to reload the page