Canadian Study: Piracy Boosts CD Sales

University of London researchers, Birgitte Andersen and Marion Frenz surveyed a large group of Canadians and concluded that that people who download more music actually buy more CDs: "We estimate that the effect of one additional P2P download per month is to increase music purchasing by 0.44 CDs per year." This translates into: if someone downloads 270 songs a year, he or she will buy 9 CDs more than someone who only downloads 27 songs. Overall the researchers found no difference between pirates and other people in the number of CDs they buy nor did they find a positive or a negative relationship between filesharing and CD sales. Quick, someone send a memo to the RIAA that they're suing their own customers.

News source: TorrentFreak

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21 Comments

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people that download songs and can't afford to buy cd's will never buy cd's simply because they can't afford it, not just because of the piracy.

here in Mexico an imported album from US sells in about $22 dollars. the minimum income here is like $5 dollars a day. go figure. i wonder why they cant drop the prices and stop sending bands to record over studios all around the world and cut the costs a little.

Plenty of people have found out about new songs/bands/artists by downloading it, and then bought their CD simply because of this. On the other hand, plenty of other people download stuff and figure "why pay when I can get it for free?". However, there are also plenty of people who download things, and if there was no way to download it, would never buy the CD anyway.

When I like a band and I want their new songs, I buy their CD. It's as simple as that. When it comes down to trying to listen to songs by a band I'm not familiar with, that's when "piracy" comes in. Since I listen to a lot of older stuff, I'll just go online and take a look around and sample songs from here and there. If I like what I hear, I'll go and buy the CD. But since the stuff I like is old AND imported from Europe most of the time, I'll end up not being able to buy it without paying $60+ just to "do the right thing".. Meanwhile the band gets $.20 cents off that deal.

Piracy does boost CD sales. I know it does, because it makes me buy CDs all the time.

I think most people with half a brain (thus not including the RIAA) knew that "pirating" music doesnt affect CD sales. When the RIAA bitches about CD sales going down they neglect to mention that downloading services more than make up for it. Vinyl sales are going down too, I guess thats also becuase of piracy!

There was a similar study done a few years back which stated that downloading music had zero affect against sales of CDs and that those who download buy more CDs as well in order to get the artwork and the like.. They also found out what was reducing sales of music, though. It was three things;

1. People who migrated their collections over to CDs from vinyl had finished.

2. Young people had less disposable income at the time.

3. Most music was/is crap.....

Maybe you should revise that title, since this article has nothing to do with piracy. Downloading music for free in Canada != piracy.

Marty2003 said,
Maybe you should revise that title, since this article has nothing to do with piracy. Downloading music for free in Canada != piracy.


Downloading music for free ANYWHERE != Piracy

z0phi3l said,
Downloading music for free ANYWHERE != Piracy

Not in Canada. Downloading for personal use is not illegal up here.

Techno babble translation required:

!= means "not equal"

...or probably just a misread.

I don't agree with the statement.

Sorry, same thing as photocopying a book in the library for personal use; 100% legal. Was ruled upon by the supreme court some time ago...

zivan56 said,
Sorry, same thing as photocopying a book in the library for personal use; 100% legal. Was ruled upon by the supreme court some time ago...

Both comments are true. While it is perfectly legal to download music for personal use here in Canada, distribution of copyrighted music is not

I know piracy (oink.cd rip) has helped me find out bands i never knew i liked... then went to see them in concerts, and have also bought purchased a few cds/dvds of bands i found and loved due to these sites

They helped out the music community, my musically knowledge has increased vastly because of sites like Oink, the oinkplus scripts were great in finding similar artists and expanding your tastes in music.

I have since moved to other sites, and continue to find out about new groups and artists via p2p ... i have be going to more concerts/shows/venues than ever before, many of these groups i would not have found or liked without first being able to preview their music on sites like these...

say what you will, but some piracy does help to promote music

LOL LOL LOL

Funniest thing I've heard in a while.

Taking the example from the article, the person who downloads 270 songs obviously has more interest in music-listening than the person who only downloads 27 thus the former person would buy more CD's than the person who downloads less or has less interest regardless of the number of songs downloaded or if nothing was even available for download. 9 more did they say. It would've easily been 20-30 more CD's had there been 0 songs available for download.

What it does indicate is that music downloading has not completely killed the recording industry, yet. Just ask yourself, if you do download music, how many less CD's have you bought. Please, give me a break! Use some common sense and don't waste resources on stupid surveys that only looks at parts of the picture.

as much as i hate the RIAA etc... i think u got some legitimate points.

me personally, there aint much music worth buying (some but not much as im picky on what i really like vs just somethings thats "not bad" sorta thing) but the stuff i do like, i gotta admit if i had no other way to "get it" i probably would have bought there CD.... but on the flip side of that, it's hard to know for sure if you would like a artists (especially new ones u just heard that you "might like") until you heard there entire CD a few times or so to know if you really like it or not... and i think it would suck if you droped 15 dollars on a CD that ended up sucking pretty much. cause to me i dont consider someone a fan of a group/artist unless they like atleast around 3/4th of there CD... cause im sure alot of people (mainstream) probably just like maybe 3songs tops from a artists CD and thats it.... so to pay 15dollars for a CD most people might only get to listen to 3 songs or so that they actually like would obviously be a rip off.

bottom line for me i would never pay 15 dollars for a CD unless i like atleast around 3/4th of the CD and only way to know if you like it is usually requires "obtaining it" and hearing it a few times.... but usually by that time you already got it so why bother paying 15 ish dollars or so for it, especially when most of that money goes to everyone but the artists anyways!

coolvi said,
LOL LOL LOL

Funniest thing I've heard in a while.

Taking the example from the article, the person who downloads 270 songs obviously has more interest in music-listening than the person who only downloads 27 thus the former person would buy more CD's than the person who downloads less or has less interest regardless of the number of songs downloaded or if nothing was even available for download. 9 more did they say. It would've easily been 20-30 more CD's had there been 0 songs available for download.

What it does indicate is that music downloading has not completely killed the recording industry, yet. Just ask yourself, if you do download music, how many less CD's have you bought. Please, give me a break! Use some common sense and don't waste resources on stupid surveys that only looks at parts of the picture.

Hey, yeah, look at the whole picture! Kinda like the RIAA does and claims they've lost billions of dollars in CD sales (one CD downloaded IS NOT THE SAME as one lost sale). Or take into consideration of things like iTunes and Amazon?

I don't believe there is any direct relation between the number of downloads and the number of CD's bought. No, its more of a matter of WHICH albums are purchased. Like the above poster said, people will avoid buying crappy CD's! That doesn't stop them from buying CDs at all. I still buy just as many CD's as I used to. I can't afford to buy ALL the CD's I've downloaded, at one time, so I'm slowly collecting them.

A major advantage of piracy for artists is that you come across bands you never would have heard otherwise. It's unbelievable how many bands I like now, 70% of them never get radio time. This is why many bands come close to supporting piracy. The only ones that don't are the uneducated and the rich. And I probably don't listen to them anyway, they don't have to worry about me downloading their albums, I'd pay them to keep the damn things.

Educate yourself about the kind of "contracts" that record companies enforce on them, and you'll understand why I have little sympathy for them.