A study carried out by the University of Hertfordshire has revealed some statistics that even I find quite shocking. Saying this, the study was carried out on behalf of UK Music - an umbrella organisation representing the interests of groups within the UK music industry so take the results with a pinch of salt.
The key findings of the research revealed that 14 to 24 year olds amass a collection of around 8,000 tracks on average. If these were all gained illegally, that’s about six to eight thousand of our Great British pounds the music industry has lost, just from one person. My music collection barely tops two thousand tracks so for me this is quite a surprising statistic. On the other hand, the accessibility of illegal music on the internet – forums, torrents etc. – means that huge numbers of tracks can be downloaded over a small period of time.
Another result of the study revealed that, although the percentage of people who admitted to illegally downloading music has reduced by 3% on last year, 61% still admitted to it this year. This is not as high as I would have expected but I think you still have to account for those who did not admit to it when answering this question. The real value may be a little or a lot higher than this.
Illegally downloading music, among other media, is a huge issue at the moment and it seems it will continue to be unless the music industry and their customers listen to each other and compromise. People want free music and they want it on demand. This will never change. Some service providers, and even governments, have taken drastic action to stop illegal file sharing but people have found, and always will find, ways to get around the blockades imposed. Have a read of the report and see what you think and whether you agree with the findings.