A survey by Entertainment Media Research suggests that 51% of web users now download music legally, through services such as iTunes rather than the virtual equivalent of the dodgy man in the pub with a long coat who has a long coat full of mobile phones.
It turns out, no doubt to the disappointment of the digital freedom “everything should be free” types, that this turnaround could be down to the heavy-handed tactics ISPs have been using – sending scary letters to users telling them to stop illegally downloading – 75% of the 1500 people surveyed said this would be enough to stop them downloading. The other 25% presumably said that they’d prefer to go down in a hail of bullets.
In a finding that will please old people, it looks like most of the illegal downloading is being done by the “youth of today”. When they’re not happy-slapping the vicar or causing teenage pregnancies, 58% of 13-17 year olds have been downloading music illegally. By contrast, the law-abiding older citizens, who probably fought in some war for us or whatever, are responsible for making legal downloading seem like the more popular option – apparently more than 40% of over 35s download music legally at least once a month.
The other interesting finding from the survey is that YouTube, rather than slightly-more-music-orientated MySpace is apparently the most popular website for discovering new music. This is apparently (ie: according to me) is down to YouTube not being a “bloated piece of crap”.
This news actually makes an interesting contrast to today’s xkcd webcomic.