While music piracy is on the rise and legal downloads of music are slowing down, social networks are having a serious impact on the way users consume music, according to a survey by Entertainment Media Research (EMR) and law firm Olswang.
The survey interviewed 1,700 music consumers age 13-60 and found that music is important to social networkers: 39% have embedded music in their personal profiles.
70% said they embed music to show off their taste; half said music is a good way to reflect personality.
Some other survey findings:
- Some 53% of people actively surf social networking sites to find music.
- 30% said they went on to buy or download music that they had discovered on a social network site (for MySpace, the proportion is 36%).
- On popular sites the numbers of people who use sites to find music increase – for MySpace and Bebo, 75% and 72%, respectively, and 66% for YouTube.
- 46% say they wish it were easier to purchase music they had discovered on social networking sites – for example via a “buy now” button on the site.
- The number of those saying they illegally download music tracks has increased, from 40% in 2005 and 36% in 2006 to 43% in 2007.
- Only 33% cited the risk of being prosecuted as a deterrent against illegal downloading, compared with 42% in 2006.
- Nearly one in five respondents – 18% – claimed an intention to download more unauthorized tracks, up from 8% in 2006.
- After a dramatic 40% increase in the number of legal downloaders between 2005 and 2006, only 16% growth occurred in the number of legal downloaders from 2006 to 2007.
- 22% of legal downloaders admitted that they had not paid for a track in the last six months.
- 84% agreed that digital downloads of older music should be cheaper; 48% said they would be prepared to pay more for newly released music.
The surveyÂ report is available via the EMR site (pdf).Â