Illegal music downloading is at an all-time high and set to rise further, according to a report out today that urges the record industry to make legal buying easier and cheaper. Although social networking sites are boosting interest in music that translates into sales, a growing band of consumers are unconcerned about being prosecuted for illegal downloads, according to Entertainment Media Research.
Its fourth annual Digital Music Survey, a poll of 1,700 people, suggests illegal music buying is widespread, with 43% claiming that they are illegally downloading tracks, rising from 36% last year and 40% in 2005. This year only 33% cited the risk of being prosecuted as a deterrent against unauthorized downloading, compared with 42% in 2006. The findings also show that nearly one in five respondents - 18% - claimed an intention to download more unauthorized tracks, up from 8% in 2006.