Sure, three-strikes battles are grabbing serious headlines in Europe these days.
But online music is no longer simply dominated by downloading, and labels are finally steering part of the discussion away from rampant file-sharing and piracy. Instead, upstarts like Spotify are encouraging more activity around sampling and cloud-based listening. That represents a victory on some level, even though it remains difficult to convince users to pay for their on-demand pleasures.
Now, another bit of data is reaffirming the trend. In a canvass of 2,500 British broadband users, roughly 66 percent noted that their file-sharing volumes have been reduced by Spotify. The survey was conducted by moneysupermarket.com, a price comparison site. “With Spotify joining the ranks of legal music sites, illegal downloading seems set to become much less popular,” said James Parker, broadband manager at moneysupermarket.com. The survey also revealed that men are more likely than women to file-trade, a reasonable take-away.
Then again, most surveys related to file-sharing are best treated with caution, simply because participants tend to misrepresent their actual behaviors. That is especially the case with teenagers, a demographic often leery of adult oversight and prosecution. Still, Spotify (and other on-demand services) have the numbers to prove an impact, thanks largely to a gratis entry fee.