Most of us have done it. Most of us are still doing it. My reason behind illegally downloading music (although I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong) was that I was able to find music that wasn’t mainstream other than on peer-to-peer services such as Kazaa or Limewire.
One by one, these peer-to-peer services have stopped working or have just infected computers with so many viruses that it’s not even worth the free music.
Now you can use YouTube to download music. According to a survey, more than 60% of the respondents claimed they’d watched music videos on a computer versus less than 20% who had legally downloaded music. Nielsen Music released a new study that shows fewer than 20 % of internet users worldwide pay for downloads of individual songs and even fewer pay for downloads of full albums.
The research goes on to show that Americans and Europeans are most likely to purchase downloads while people in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America are more likely to favour free downloads.
During an internship I had with a newspaper company, I was given the opportunity to spend time interviewing a few bands and I asked them what the impact of illegal downloads have on them.
“Everyone thinks it’s not a big deal. But we need to sell a certain amount of albums to make sure our record deal isn’t pulled”, said Ben Daltonn, bassist of Hungry Kids of Hungary.
Dalton also said that for some musicians, playing music is their only source of income.
British singer Lily Allen wrote on her blog, which has since been deleted, that ‘the up-and-coming acts as well as the session musicians, song writers and all the others involved in making music, that can’t make up the money lost from file-sharing by going on big tours.
In an article in The Guardian, John Kennedy, chairman and chief executive of International Federation of the Phonographic Industry(IFPI) said, “music companies have changed their whole approach to doing business, reshaped their operations and responded to the dramatic transformation in the way music is distributed and consumed”
Unfortunately, the changes that have been made are simply not enough to curb the issue of online piracy. Investment in new artists will eventually drop due to mass illegal downloading. Do you want to be the reason your favourite band/singer loses their job? Pay for your tunes!