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Remember the mullet? I guess the trends are accurate?

In March, I wrote a post titled “Remember the mullet? File sharers are next.” Since that time, several studies have been posted that more or less demonstrate that the Google Trends I cited can be used as a forward-looking guidepost. 

Google Trends for the music industry are not perfect indicators, but they are worth examining occasionally.

Here are two links to information on the recent surveys on file sharing.

The NPD study…

Downloads from peer-to-peer networks fell 6 percent in 2008, NPD said. Meanwhile, 52 percent of teens said they listened to online radio in 2008, up from 34 percent from 2007. Almost half of teens, 46 percent, used social-networking sites to download or stream music, an increase from 26 percent in 2007, NPD said.

The Music Alley / The Leading Question study…

In January this year 26% of 14 to 18 year olds admitted filesharing at least once a month compared with 42% in December 2007.

There’s a permanent list of Google Trends (as links) in the left column of Music Think Tank.

Reader Comments (1)

Ignoring the Google Trends argument for a moment - I'd draw your attention to the following points made in relation to the Music Ally research via Techdirt:

* It's not based on actual usage data, but on survey data.
* As more and more attention is being paid to people getting sued and fined for online file sharing activities, people are certainly going to be less willing to admit on a survey that they participate.
* This is especially true in the UK, where there's been a tremendous amount of attention on the recent Digital Britain report, which claims, as a goal, to reduce illegal online file sharing activities.

The NPD study is also survey data and Glenn Peoples at Billboard noted in April when the press release was issued:

"These trends are not out of line with global trends cited in other studies. A recent Ipoque study [based on actual traffic data, not surveys] found similar trends in streaming and P2P usage. Global P2P traffic as a share of all Internet traffic, it found, had decreased in 2008. Similar to the streaming trend noted by NPD, Ipoque found streaming video was taking over P2P use. The Ipoque study, as have other studies, also found that file hosting sites were increasingly popular. Such sites, which allow people to share download links to files uploaded on remote servers, host much copyrighted content but tend to fly under the radar since file-sharing networks capture more of the content industry's attention. It stands to reason that an increase in file-hosting sites would decrease the share of other content sources".

So, while streaming services may be on the rise and p2p file-sharing declining in some markets I'm not sure this means consumers are obtaining music through legitimate channels.

July 13 | Unregistered CommenterDave Carter

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