streaming displacing filesharing

“Filesharing music amongst UK teens down by a third” (PDF):

Overall levels of regular file-sharing music are down, particularly amongst UK teenagers:

  • The overall percentage of music fans file-sharing regularly (i.e. every month) has gone down since the last national survey. In December 2007 22% regularly file- shared tracks, but in January 2009 this was down to 17%, a comparative drop of nearly a quarter.
  • The biggest drop in those regularly file-sharing occurred amongst 14-18 year olds. (In December 2007 42% of 14-18s were filesharing at least once a month. In January 2009 this was down to just 26%)
    This is despite the fact that the percentage of music fans who have ever file-shared has, unsurprisingly, increased, rising from 28% in December 2007 to 31% in January 2009. The move to streaming – e.g. YouTube, MySpace and Spotify – is clear with the research showing that many teens (65%) are streaming music regularly (i.e. each month). Nearly twice as many 14-18s (31%) listen to streamed music on their computer every day compared to music fans overall (18%). More fans are regularly sharing burned CDs and bluetoothing tracks to each other than file-sharing tracks.

5 thoughts on “streaming displacing filesharing

  1. I think a conventional wisdom arose that people saw the internet as a place to download songs and other digital to own a copy. This received wisdom thus suggested that streaming would necessarily be a lesser cousin to ownership. I believe that a fair bit of sales figures supports this idea.

    I suggest, though, that “ownership” of a digital copy of a song is no longer
    the be-all that it was at one time. A “streaming”-favorable buyer would be a different market than a “must download” buyer. Perhaps a 50 year old wants to own mp3s, as they are the closest thing to an album with a cover by Hipnosis on it the paltry digital world offers. Perhaps a 14 year old sees digital media differently–an experience that can be rented or streamed, and need not be owned.

    That hypothetical renter of experiences may wish different things than an owner. The renter may want cross-platform access. The renter may want
    pay-as-you-go for streaming rather than owning a plan. The renter may be reachable by ads in ways that owners are not.

    I do not pretend to know the answer, but I can imagine the marketing would be different.

  2. Hi, my name is Daniel and firstly, I think this is a great blog. Lucas, I hope you don’t mind me posting a link on my project site which is still under construction, to this particular post. I also appreciate your collection of knowledge on playlist files which motivated me in no small way.

    I think it is a fundamentally important development and wonder if the statistics from Europe and the US show the same trend. My 2 cents worth is that those who download are valuing the content itself. But streaming provides value in how the content is delivered. The state of broadband technology has finally reached the stage where delivering live content to the consumer is actually feasible (broadband mobiles). So people are now making a choice between streaming and filesharing just like they were making a choice between waiting for a song to play on the radio and going down to buy the lp. Of course the true strength of streaming is in the delivery of time-sensitive information e.g. live World Cup Finals. In this area, filesharing is almost irrelevant. So I think there are actually two distinct markets here, a market where content is valued and another market where the content delivery is valued.

    1. I don’t know what I think of your premise, Daniel. On one hand I agree that downloading values the object more than streaming does. On the other hand I don’t think that music streaming is entirely the same as time-sensitive information like live World Cup Finals.

      I mean, I think that somebody with a service like MOG starts to think of music as a stream that they take a dip from. They feel like the concept of collecting is silly, because the flow is what a listener is about. But it’s not that the music itself is worth less, it’s that listeners lose the instinct to clutch on to individual recordings.

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