Nearly three-quarters of teens do not have an ethical issue over the downloading of music from the Internet, according to a national survey conducted by Edison Media Research for the trade publication Radio & Records. Some 74% of 12-17-year-olds answered in the negative when asked if “there is anything morally wrong about downloading music for free off the Internet.” Our data suggests that record labels haven’t framed the downloading issue in a manner that can change behavior.
Some of the other topics and fascinating facts to emerge from the study include:
*10.1% of 12-17-year-olds who actively download music from the Internet did not purchase a single CD or cassette in the last 12 months.
*53% of 12-17-year-olds have burned someone else’s copy of a CD instead of buying their own copy.
*When it comes to download compensation, teens and young adults are more sympathetic to the plight of musicians than toward their record labels.
*22% of Americans 12-44 years old agree with the statement “You no longer have to buy CDs, as you can download the music for free from the Internet.”
*The majority of music downloaders do have “some reservations” about artists’ and labels’ not being compensated but download music for free anyway.
*A majority of downloaders have gone on to buy an artist’s CD after downloading a track for free from the Internet.
These findings highlight a comprehensive survey about music purchasing and behavior conducted by Edison for R&R Convention 2002, being held this week at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The survey’s results will be presented Wednesday, June 12, at 4pm in a session titled “The Ultimate Music Buyers Study II.”
“This national study about music-purchasing behavior is unique in that we went beyond the typical behavioral measurements and explored the underlying attitudes that drive music downloading and purchase behavior,” says Jayne Charneski, Vice President at Edison Media Research.
“What we found were many opportunities for the record industry to combat the downloading problem. For one, we found the majority of downloaders do feel some guilt about downloading music for free. Further, downloaders are more sympathetic to musicians than to the record labels when it comes to compensation,” explained Charneski. “If the record labels make a concerted effort to get their artists to educate the public about how downloading takes money directly out of the artists’ pockets, things may change. Kids have no idea about the amount of money labels shell out to make a record in the first place, but our data suggests it’s got to be the artists that explain this. The RIAA should consider redoubling its efforts to get this message out to young consumers via prime time TV, cable networks and the Internet. ”
This national survey interviewed 942 persons age 12+. It was conducted by telephone from a national sample (continental U.S.) between May 7 and May 20, 2002. For a sample of this size, the sample error is + 3%.