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Study Confirms Illegal Downloads Increase Music Sales

Written by Mike Hohnen on March 22, 2013

The war against piracy has just gotten that much harder for the record label execs – a study undertaken by The European Commission Joint Research Centre has discovered a direct relation between an increase in illegal downloads and an increase in music sales.

The study shows that when illegal download activity rose by 10%, activity also rose on music purchasing sites. Sure, only by 0.2% but it’s still a rise. Then final figures were dram from a sample of 16,000 European residents over a 12-month period.

The language in the report suggests that people will be more inclined to buy the digital copies as they download “suggesting complementarities between these two modes of music consumption”, but our guess is it’s more to do with when you can’t find the right torrent anywhere and you’re forced to buy it.

The report also claims that legal streaming is also playing its part because, according to their results, “a 10% increase in clicks on legal streaming websites led to up to a 0.7% increase in clicks on legal digital purchases websites”.

It’s currently happy days for record sales, which saw their first rise in numbers since 1999, with many thanks to Adele and the tweenwave sensation. But can those awful, screaming tweens and slumbering mums sustain an entire industry? Stay tuned.

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