Considering the amount of money the music industry pours into trying to stop people from downloading music from file sharing networks, I think it’s fair to say that they believe their efforts will help increase the sales of CDs. They must, otherwise the RIAA wouldn’t be suing people left and right, and spending so many days in court trying to “help the music business thrive.” Given this, the question of the year is, does illegal downloading of music really harm the music industry? Canada’s National Statistical Agency took a look at the sales of music and their findings point to a big answer of no! So if the recording industry isn’t really affected by illegal downloads, why is so much effort put into stopping it?
As many of you have pointed out in comments before, downloading music illegally actually pushes you to go buy the music that you really like after you hear it. With the amount of people that turn to P2P networks increasing, you’d think that the sales of music would be decreasing, but at least in Canada, it’s not. In fact, it’s increasing. The study found this: “downloading the equivalent of approximately one CD increases purchasing by about half of a CD.” The bottom line is that P2P file-sharing increases rather than decreases music purchasing, despite the fact that the big four (Warner, Universal, EMI, and Sony BMG) will lead you to believe that the industry is devastated.
Source: Michael Geist (Thanks for the tip Sean!)