In Just 3 Years, P2P Usage Has Dropped 35% In France…

We’re starting to get a lot more information out of France, an early-mover in three-strikes enforcement and one of the leading streaming subscription markets in the world (behind Scandinavia, of course).  The three-strikes rollout is being administered by HADOPI and is roundly being hailed as a success by the industry.

And one of the main reasons for this is that file-swapping is starting to plunge in the region.  Here’s a data slide shared by French label group SNEP, which shows that over the past three years, P2P unique user levels have plunged 35%.

france_p2p_1

That isn’t all attributable to HADOPI of course.  The rise of streaming access, particularly from the likes of Deezer, Spotify, and YouTube, not to mention the proliferation of mobile devices, is also prompting the shift.  Other variables are also shifting usage around cyberlockers, most notably the shutdown of Megaupload.

france_p2p_2

So pop the champagne, right?  Um….

france_p2p_3

32 Responses

  1. Visitor
    Visitor

    Piracy rates dropped like a rock but revenues continue to circle the toilet bowl? This is against everything the content has been saying for decades! What the hell?
    Somehow this is all Google’s fault. Shut them down!

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “Somehow this is all Google’s fault. Shut them down!”
      Again, you really try too hard. 🙂
      Sure, Google — and any other company that abuses the DMCA — should be shut down. It’s just not relevant in this thread.
      At any rate, it’s awesome that HADOPI is such a success. Can’t wait to see the American version.
      Next week, they say…

      Reply
    • George
      George

      Wait, you mean you WEREN’T sarcastic about Google?
      This is just proof that piracy has nothing to do with sales. If anything piracy may have helped sales, by making songs popular. But since they are taking down piracy..so will sales go down.

      Reply
      • Visitor
        Visitor

        The DCMA does not remove the service provider from the equation. Instead, it pressures the service provider to ignore their users in favor of the unfiltered claims of really anyone who wants to say they own a copyright.

        There is no judicial oversight, so Google has been forced to implement its own filters lest it find itself hauled into court for discrimination or breach of contract. Since it must rely on the DMCA notice to defend itself against such suits, it makes sense that Google wishes to be sure the notice is reliable.

        Reply
  2. Visitor
    Visitor

    “So pop the champagne, right?”
    Right.
    “we obtained a panel of iTunes sales data from the four major music labels (Universal Music, Warner Music, EMI Music and Sony Music) across a broad set of countries. We then applied a difference-in-difference approach, using sales trends in a control group of European countries to simulate the counterfactual of what music sales in France would have been if HADOPI had not been passed. Our results suggest that increased consumer awareness of HADOPI caused iTunes song and album sales to increase by 22.5% and 25% respectively”
    Source: Brett Danaher, Wellesley College, Dep. of Economics. Michael D. Smith and Rahul Telang, Carnegie Mellon University.
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1989240

    Reply
      • Andy
        Andy

        It should be included in digital revenue.
        My guess is that the 22% increase is simply because people switched from physical media to digital.

        Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      …also, for those who don’t want to read the entire study, the authors add an interesting detail here:
      “Our analysis finds that iTunes sales in France increase by 22.5-25% in France relative to sales in the control group. Further, in the paper we note that if this increase were causally related to HADOPI, one would expect to see a larger increase in sales among heavily pirated genres than for less heavily pirated genres, which is exactly what we find: The post-HADOPI increase in Rap, Hip Hop, Rock, and Pop sales is larger than the sales increase for the Classical, Christian, Folk, and Jazz genres.”
      Source:
      http://infojustice.org/archives/8891
      Can’t wait to see if this pattern will be repeated in the US as a result of 6 Strikes…

      Reply
      • Visitor
        Visitor

        While that study is interesting, it is based on very limited data, and it found that the increase in sales (or, perhaps, decrease in sales in the UK which the study compares France against) happened when the Hadopi law was being debated in the French National Assembly (if slightly before). While it’s just a footnote, they did note that there was no such change when the law came into force or when letters started getting sent out.
        Also, it just so happens that Spotify went public in the UK at about that time, which might explain a decrease in iTunes sales in the UK which could appear as an increase in France (and where one would also expect to see the change greatest in those more familiar with new technologies)…

        Reply
      • Visitor
        Visitor

        “Our analysis finds that iTunes sales in France increase by 22.5-25% in France relative to sales in the control group. Further, in the paper we note that if this increase were causally related to HADOPI, one would expect to see a larger increase in sales among heavily pirated genres than for less heavily pirated genres, which is exactly what we find: The post-HADOPI increase in Rap, Hip Hop, Rock, and Pop sales is larger than the sales increase for the Classical, Christian, Folk, and Jazz genres.”
        Only those genres are exactly the ones were one would expect a bigger trend from physical media to digital media. That’s a pretty biased point of view in the study.

        Reply
    • Jürgen A. Erhard
      Jürgen A. Erhard

      “to simulate the counterfactual of what music sales in France would have been if HADOPI had not been passed. ”
      I read that as “iTunes sales are 22.5% and 25% higher than they would have been if HADOPI had not been passed”.
      And not as “iTunes sales are up 22.5%”.

      Reply
  3. Yves Villeneuve
    Yves Villeneuve

    The 3 strikes system is not showing an immediate improvement for the French industry because a large percentage of the population illegally downloaded the vast majority of their library prior to the implemenation of 3 strikes. A better graph would be sales of newly released music. My guess is that sales of music not available prior to HADOPI has actually increased versus a comparable period and release schedule.

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      That’s not a problem, the purpose of the anti-piracy initiatives you see all over the world right now is to educate ordinary people and stop them from stealing IP products.
      VPN’s in this context are used by hardcore criminals only.
      Ordinary people with jobs and families don’t have time for all that, it’s so much easier and safer to buy than to steal.

      Reply
  4. FarePlay
    FarePlay

    I think it would be fair to say, that a significant percentage of individuals using P2P sites are not hard core freehadists, but rather part of the legions of users who aren’t even aware that they’re in the wrong place.
    The good news is that the decline in sales seems to be slowing….

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      “a significant percentage of individuals using P2P sites are not hard core freehadists, but rather part of the legions of users who aren’t even aware that they’re in the wrong place”
      That’s an extremely important point!
      Everybody uses Google to find what they want, and Google treat organized crime sites exactly like they were legitimate.
      That’s why the education part of all these new anti-piracy initiatives is so crucial.
      Ordinary people don’t want to be criminals. They don’t want to support a criminal industry that costs society billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands jobs every year. A clear majority of the population today even want to punish illegal downloading.

      Reply
      • Visitor
        Visitor

        Notably, it is not google’s job to make sure everything on their index is legal content. They are -not- the internet police, and seriously shouldn’t be. Would you want google to act as internet police? I seriously don’t.
        That said, education is important, yes. I’ve always considered it strange that school seems to teach you -relatively- little about your own country’s laws.
        Insinuating that google is in cahoots with organized crime is a bit strange, though. For one, google provide a tool. A useful tool. That already warns pretty excessively if it finds viruses in page content, at least. It should be in your own judgement how you use it. Else that’s a bit like blaming a kitchen knife vendor for not telling you that shanking someone with the knife is illegal.
        Also, I find it a bit hard to take that “organized crime” line seriously. Apparently throwing up a bittorrent tracker on a random server somewhere and not policing it very strictly is “organized crime” now, is it? It may not be legal, depending on circumstances, but drawing connections from that to mafialike structures just makes the debate look absurd.

        Reply
        • Visitor
          Visitor

          “Would you want google to act as internet police?”
          That is what you and I and every sane person want.
          And that’s what we get:
          Google successfully filter child porn, illegal distribution of drugs and weapons, assassins for hire, counterfeit money and stolen credit card numbers all day long.
          I’m sure you understand why it would have absolutely terryfying consequences for us all, and especially for our children, if they didn’t.
          “Insinuating that google is in cahoots with organized crime”
          Um, I’m not insinuating anything — I’m saying flat out that Google is the piracy search engine, torrent tracker and portal to organized crime today.

          Reply
          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “Google successfully filter child porn, illegal distribution of drugs and weapons, assassins for hire, counterfeit money and stolen credit card numbers all day long.”

            Yes, because that’s easy to spot.
            Copyright infringement, on the other hand, is not.
            Would you say that the Nostalgia Critic violates copyright when he does reviews for older shows and movies?
            Or how about Stuff like Dragon Ball Abridged? It’s a parody, does it violate copyright?
            Both fall under fair use, but according to Copyright Apologists, both are violating IP law.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “Copyright Apologists”
            You might consider avoiding the torrentfreak lingo if you want to be taken seriously.
            Just sayin’…

  5. Guido Gallenkamp
    Guido Gallenkamp

    Or – maybe sales have also dropped because companies cannot afford to put good money into their bands?

    Another side effect is that bands play live more often and take at least twice or three times the money as they did 5 years ago.

    Reply
  6. Jo
    Jo

    Without statistics from western european countries without these laws you can’t tell if HADOPI had any influence for good or bad for music sales.

    Reply
  7. Karl
    Karl

    The conclusions reached in the study above have been debunked plenty of times. For example:
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120131/06152417600/iphone-data-debunks-recording-industrys-report-how-french-three-strikes-law-increased-sales.shtml

    Also, the notion that Google is in league with “organized crime” is simply laughable. Leaving aside the fact that copyright infringement sites are not run by organized crime, the fact is that Google is far more harsh on copyright infringement than other search engines or ad servers.

    Also, I would not trust anything from Music Tech Policy. It is run by Chris Castle, a notorious IP maximalist and copyright lawyer. He’s part of an mutual admiration society of Internet luddites that includes Ellen Seidler (indie filmmaker who runs popuppirates.com), David Lowery (90’s musician and conspiracy theorist who runs Trichordist), and SOPA defender Terry Hart (recently-graduated IP law student). Take anything these people write, not just with a grain of salt, but with an entire salt lick.

    Reply
    • guest
      guest

      Karl, it is fairly clear that you have your own bias as well. I agree with you that some websites are pro-copyright and anti-filesharing and have a bias. But you simply have the opposite bias.

      For example, you quote techdirt (an extremely biased site) to claim that a study has been “debunked”. First, the techdirt piece did not debunk the study, it merely offered a possible (but unproven) alternate interpretation of the results whereby Hadopi might not have had an impact.

      The authors of the original study added an appendix to address this very concern and wrote their own blog post (http://infojustice.org/archives/8891) specifically showing the techdirt/LeMonde counter-argument to be unlikely or impossible. Any reason you did not cite this?

      You’ll find that nearly any “debunking” of the Hadopi study relies on the same argument made in the techdirt article, which appears not to hold any water in light of the appendix in the paper.
      Reasonable conversation and debate around scientific findings is a good thing. But calling out someone for a bias while citing websites that are equally biased is hypocritical.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Verify Your Humanity *