Monday, October 25, 2004

CD sales and music downloads

This is an oldish study, but we believe that it deserves all of the attention that it can get. The study analyses the economic impact to CD sales of music downloads. The study confirms what many of us music downloaders already knew (I hope that the BPI doesn't sue me). Music sales are not greatly affected by music downloads because most of the people who are downloading would not have purchased the CD anyway, and many who download music go ahead and buy the CD.

The study claims that "We find that file sharing has only had a limited effect on record sales [...] Even in the most pessimistic specification, five thousand downloads are needed to displace a single album sale."


Anonymous said...

has anyone done any surveys yet on how legal downloads (eg iTunes) are affecting "hard copy" sales? would be an intersting compare and contrast.. LE

Andres Guadamuz said...

All the latest figures definitely indicate that music downloads are displacing singles sales, but it is still too early to analyse the effect on CD sales. I think that this may be done next year, when the market settles. IT is still too volatile, with everybody racing to provide legal downloads.