You know what we haven't heard much about lately? Piracy
. It used to be all the rage, but after iTunes
(and pretty much every other online music store) went DRM-free
, it seems those stormy waters have calmed. Or, on second thought, maybe no one was talking about it.
New research from the University of Hertfordshire over in the UK has found that an alarming amount of 14 to 24 years olds are still pirating an insane amount of music. How insane? Try 8,000 tracks for each person
that puts on their eye patch and heads out to the digital sea. Now, we should warn you that these numbers can't be taken as 100% true. The research involved a survey, which was commissioned by none other than UK Music, so there's a decent chance the sample audience was one that would sort of provide the results they were looking for (if you catch our drift).
Now, we're not saying that the results are flat out wrong. In fact, we find them pretty believable, but it's safe to say you should take what you find here with a tablespoon of salt. Only 1808 people were questioned, and of those in the 14 to 24 year old bracket, a whopping 61% admitted that they used file sharing networks to snag music. The survey also found that around 68% of those who replied used their computer everyday to listen to music--no shock there, huh? One important data point we felt should be highlighted was this one:
"Strangely, in this world of 8,000 track hard drive music collections and the rampant uptake of digital music players, 77% of those surveyed said they would carry on buying physical CD albums even if they were subscribing to an 'all you can eat' download service."
In the end, we're still left with a cloudy picture as to what effect piracy really has on the music industry. Concerts are still selling out despite record high ticket prices. Artists don't seem to be trading in their supercars for Huffy bicycles. And iTunes sales don't look to be slowing anytime soon. Oh course, with things like this, it's all too easy to paint the exact picture you want to see.