Survey Says: Legal Downloading Not So Bad

The days of Limewire are coming to a close. The people have spoken – and they say that downloading music legally is not as bad as it used to be. A recent poll released by market research firm Synovate surveyed over 8,000 people in 13 countries about their media downloading habits. The results? Accessing media has changed dramatically in the past few years.

Streaming music is cited as one of the most popular methods of accessing music legally, with nearly 2/3 of Koreans opting to stream rather than download. Other trends include downloading music from websites that run advertisements (nearly 44% of respondents say they would tolerate ads if it meant they could download music for free) and “renting” music by paying a monthly fee to access unlimited amounts of music and other creative media.

Many attribute the rise of legal media download to the stigma that has been attached to illegal downloading. Others claim that the music industry has come a long way in making legal downloading more convenient for everyone. Robert Alleyne, Research Manager for Synovate in the UK said, "For a long time downloading illegally was easier and faster than downloading legally but not anymore. And consumers have taken to these new legal services.” The technology and creative media blog Arts and Labs offers commentary on the survey, saying “A strong digital economy will require functioning markets, and the shift towards legal delivery mechanisms like streaming services represents a positive step in the right direction.”

Aside from not breaking the law, legal downloads also create jobs. As has been cited many a time on this website, “Intellectual property-related industries employ over 18 million Americans. If these protections are discarded, many of these workers are likely to lose their jobs as an effect of lost revenue in the industry.” The recent trends in legal downloading point toward greater respect for intellectual property rights in America and around the world, and that certainly benefits everyone.

(H/T Arts and Labs: