Research Shows Piracy Can Help Music Sales

rgMekanic

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A new academic paper published in the Information Economics and Policy journal shows that piracy can help many artists to sell more music. In a paper titled 'Purchase, pirate, publicize: Private-network music sharing and market album sales' he examined the effect of BitTorrent-based piracy on both digital and physical music sales.

It makes sense to me, especially with less new music getting put on the radio, it can be difficult to find new artists. We have posted before on how piracy has a positive effect on video games as well, which I chalk up to the lack of demos now days.

“I know that’s a bad thing to say, because I’m part of a music industry that doesn’t like illegal file sharing,” Sheeran said in an interview with CBS. “Illegal file sharing was what made me. It was students in England going to university, sharing my songs with each other.”
 

pfc_m_drake

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There was a lot of discussion back in the original Napster days about people discovering music via online download who then went to purchase CDs afterwards because they liked what they heard (and would otherwise NOT have been exposed to).
It doesn't make it right or legal, but I always thought it was an interesting aspect.
 

DukenukemX

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Its simple, if your shit is good then people will buy it, even if they pirated it first. If your shit is bad or mediocre, then nobody will buy it after they pirate it. I've done this plenty and so has everyone else. You may think you haven't, but I assure you have. Listened to someone else's music CD, when people used to have CD's? Watched a movie with someone that they paid for? Borrowed a game from someone to play? This is generally how people discover new things, and its a form of piracy. The only difference between pirating and borrowing is someone gave you permission and the other didn't.

In this day in age it's part of the business plan to sell you mediocre and expect you to pay up front before trying it out. This is why the industry spends so much on advertising since this is their way of convincing you the stuff they make is good for you to buy.
 

horskh

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Its simple, if your shit is good then people will buy it, even if they pirated it first. If your shit is bad or mediocre, then nobody will buy it after they pirate it. I've done this plenty and so has everyone else. You may think you haven't, but I assure you have. Listened to someone else's music CD, when people used to have CD's? Watched a movie with someone that they paid for? Borrowed a game from someone to play? This is generally how people discover new things, and its a form of piracy. The only difference between pirating and borrowing is someone gave you permission and the other didn't.

In this day in age it's part of the business plan to sell you mediocre and expect you to pay up front before trying it out. This is why the industry spends so much on advertising since this is their way of convincing you the stuff they make is good for you to buy.

I agree with your point, but I disagree with your wording. Borrowing a physical copy of any media, or engaging in that media with the original owner is not a form of piracy. It is entirely legal. I would like to also point out that the word piracy was originally used to describe the selling of a copyrighted work without a license to do so. In this case, we're talking about illegal file sharing, but, unfortunately, that has now become known as piracy even though it doesn't fit the definition since no sales are being made.
 

Gigus Fire

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There's a logical fallacy. Everyone knows that piracy can lead to greater sales, but not for the artists that are already big and being played on the radio. For smaller artists, it's almost necessary to create exposure. The problem is that more smaller artist exposure isn't good for the recording industry in general.
 

alamox

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if someone pirates a content it means he doesn't have the money to buy it, and he most certainly wouldn't buy it if it was impossible to pirate, but the bright side is that you get a customer who will like yor work and maybe become a fan who spends in your future releases.
without piracy gaming wouldn't be booming right now, kids and student that cannot afford games, pirate them, their experience develope gaming as a hoby that when he gets a job starts buying his gams, if today pirating games was impossible, in 5-10 years you would have alot less gamers, so ppl who say 100k copies were pirated and we lost 5mil$ are idiots, those 100k ppl wouldn't have bought your game anyway, so you are not losing anything.
 

Chupachup

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This is really old news to me. Going all the way back to the original Napster days, I'd download a track or two from an artist I was interested in. If I like what I heard, I'd purchase their whole CD from the store within hours or days. If I didn't like it, it was deleted and forgotten.

As the pirating hammer got working toward a fever pitch, I went from buying as many as ten CDs a month to maybe five a year and only if the artist/group had three or more songs on the album that had both hit the radio and I'd admit that I like.

Now, more often than not, I'll buy single tracks based on radio play and recommendation. My whole album purchasing (either CD or MP3) is down to around three per year for newer artists and one or two to replace damaged CDs from my collection.

So, whenever RIAA would say pirates were the ones harming their sales, I'd laugh and say they shot themselves in the foot for the loss of free promotion that actually resulted in lower returns for them in the end- DUMBASSES!
 

TheHig

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Remember “Listen before you buy” in music stores back in the day? People making informed decisions before parting with their hard earned dollors can mean more sales and happy consumers!? Mind. Blown.
 

craigdt

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Imagine that.

Music industry failed to adapt.

Now they wail and moan about revenues from Spotify etc.

Im sensing a trend here...
 

krotch

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If I buy the CD online and then go download it, while waiting for the CD. Is that piracy?
 

Zarathustra[H]

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If I buy the CD online and then go download it, while waiting for the CD. Is that piracy?

I have no doubt that the RIAA would consider it so. They have no concept of fair use, and even in our days of digital streaming don't seem to be willing to distinguish between the physical medial and the content on said physical media.

These are the jerks (RIAA/MPAA/Etc.) that pushed for the 1998 DMCA, making it a crime to circumvent encryption on physical media, so that you can't even legally back up media you've bought.
 

Armenius

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This is really old news to me. Going all the way back to the original Napster days, I'd download a track or two from an artist I was interested in. If I like what I heard, I'd purchase their whole CD from the store within hours or days. If I didn't like it, it was deleted and forgotten.

As the pirating hammer got working toward a fever pitch, I went from buying as many as ten CDs a month to maybe five a year and only if the artist/group had three or more songs on the album that had both hit the radio and I'd admit that I like.

Now, more often than not, I'll buy single tracks based on radio play and recommendation. My whole album purchasing (either CD or MP3) is down to around three per year for newer artists and one or two to replace damaged CDs from my collection.

So, whenever RIAA would say pirates were the ones harming their sales, I'd laugh and say they shot themselves in the foot for the loss of free promotion that actually resulted in lower returns for them in the end- DUMBASSES!
I was and am exactly the same way, and of the same opinion. I think I bought 7 albums in total last year, and 3 of them were used out-of-print CDs that I wanted to replace, and none of them were distributed by paying members of the RIAA. Back in 2004 I remember purchasing at least 30.
 

Chupachup

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I was and am exactly the same way, and of the same opinion. I think I bought 7 albums in total last year, and 3 of them were used out-of-print CDs that I wanted to replace, and none of them were distributed by paying members of the RIAA. Back in 2004 I remember purchasing at least 30.
Do you remember RIAA trying to crack down on second hand sales of CDs, records and tapes, because they weren't receiving their cut of those sales?

They were nearly laughed out of court for trying to double-dip!:ROFLMAO:
 

JustinCorrigible

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I would have never heard of Opeth if it wasn't for being able to download music from sharing sources. Now I own their entire discography, a bit of merchandise, and have been to every show I can when they come to the U.S. I think one free download more than paid for itself.
 

krotch

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I have no doubt that the RIAA would consider it so. They have no concept of fair use, and even in our days of digital streaming don't seem to be willing to distinguish between the physical medial and the content on said physical media.

These are the jerks (RIAA/MPAA/Etc.) that pushed for the 1998 DMCA, making it a crime to circumvent encryption on physical media, so that you can't even legally back up media you've bought.

Yep. Course nowadays, who doesn't play everything in mp3, flac, aac, or whatever digital format. I'm not a fan of digital music stores and much prefer getting the CD and ripping it to however many different formats I want. Got some ripping to do tonight for the like 7 CDs I received in the mail. I downloaded the singles/albums already, but they aren't in a great format.
 

M76

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I have no doubt that the RIAA would consider it so. They have no concept of fair use, and even in our days of digital streaming don't seem to be willing to distinguish between the physical medial and the content on said physical media.

These are the jerks (RIAA/MPAA/Etc.) that pushed for the 1998 DMCA, making it a crime to circumvent encryption on physical media, so that you can't even legally back up media you've bought.
They still don't understand that they cannot change demand to meet what they're offering, they need to change what they're offering to meet demand.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Yep, but that one is easier to explain.

Pirating games is a huge pain in the ass. You need the crack to match the exact version of the game you pirate, and every time there is an update there is another crack, and then you have to expose yourself to the potential of all sorts of malware, and multiplayer rarely works well.

Buying a game on steam is dead simple. Click, get a heavily discounted game, and if you have good bandwidth, play it 5-10 minutes later.

It's no wonder game piracy has dropped. It's just not worth it anymore now that Steam is easy and relatively affordable.

I can see where music is a little bit more involved to wrap your head around. Even so, in the era of inexpensive Spotify, this shouldn't be a stretch. Flexibility and ease of use at an affordable price tends to take a huge chunk out of piracy.
 
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