A new report reveals that UK teenagers are filesharing less music - with users down by a third. The report also shows that UK music fans are turning their backs on regular illegal activity in favour of streaming and other new ways of sharing music. Following the recent Digital Britain Report which set out the UK Government’s stance on how to curb file-sharing, the annual survey of more than 1,000 music fans by research and media specialist The Leading Question, in conjunction with Music Ally, shows that the nature of the file-sharing "threat" is also changing.
Overall, levels of regular file-sharing music are down, particularly amongst UK teenagers with a quarter less actually filesharing - now only 17% regularly swap music - a drop from 22%. This is despite the fact that the percentage of music fans who have ever file-shared has, perhaps unsurprisingly, increased, rising from 28% in December 2007 to 31% in January 2009. The move to streaming - e.g. YouTube, MySpace and Spotify - is clear from the research which shows that many teens (65%) are streaming music regularly (i.e. each month) - usually legally.
Nearly twice as many 14-18s (31%) listen to streamed music on their computer every day compared to music fans overall (18%). perhaps not quite as cheering news for record labels and music publishers is that more fans are regularly sharing burned CDs and bluetoothing tracks to each other than file-sharing tracks.
There is some good news for the music industry (apart from the rise in legal streamed services) - there are now more UK music fans regularly buying single track downloads (19%) than file-sharing single tracks (17%) every month, and although the percentage of fans sharing albums regularly (13%) remains higher than those purchasing digital albums (10%), the research also shows the comparative volume of pirated tracks to legally purchased tracks has halved since their last survey just over 12 months ago.