This story was written by Robert Andrews.
Spotify, beware! Consumers’ willingness to pay for unlimited streaming music is waning because people want to “own” and copy their tunes, according to new research in UK.
Unauthorised downloading has fallen slightly in the last year - but 14-to-24-year-olds still say they want free, permanent MP3 downloads, according to a University Of Hertfordshire survey for UK Music.
That means the likes of Spotify Premium could struggle, but unlimited subscription MP3 plans like that proposed by Virgin Media (NSDQ: VMED) could be a big hit…
Freeloading: at least it’s not getting worse:-
—61 percent of respondents file-share - marginally down from last year’s 63 percent.
—Of those, 83 percent share weekly or daily.
—Why? To get free music (40 percent), to get rare tunes (23 percent), to try before buying (22 percent).
Make ‘em pay: how? offer downloads, not streaming:-
—85 percent of P2P downloaders would pay for an all-you-can-eat MP3 download service.
—Of those, 57 percent would then stop using P2P; 77 would continue buying CDs.
—A blow to Spotify’s premium dream - 78 percent do not want to pay for a streaming service - that reluctance has increased from last year‘s 65 percent, despite the emergence of the fashionable model.
—The number of people who would pay for streaming has crashed from 35 percent last year to just seven percent.
—Streaming won’t kill piracy - 49 percent of those who would pay for unlimited streaming would continue pilfering from P2P.
—MP3s can be property, too - 89 percent still want to “own” music.
Consumption: PC is the new CD
—68 percent listen to music on their computer every day (MP3 player 58 percent, radio 26 percent, mobile 21 percent, TV 19 percent, CD 15 percent).
—An average computer contains 8,159 tracks (MP3 player 1,289 up from 1,771 last year, mobile only 32).
—Hypocrisy? 90 percent say music is “essential” - but only 23 percent of their monthly entertainment budget is spent on music - a wider gulf than any other entertainment type.
Copy and be damned:-
—87 percent say the ability to copy tracks across devices is important.
—56 percent say gadget makers should pay a levy to rightsholders for the ensuing duplication.
—Most people are fully aware that P2P sharing and downloading, copying CDs for friends and downloading from storage sites like Rapidshare is illegal - but they go ahead and break the law anyway.
The university surveyed 1,808 respondents aged 14 to 24.
By Robert Andrews