The music industry could be facing a crisis because of the number of young people still illegally downloading from the internet, a report has warned.
The music industry has been cracking down on illegal sharing
The report by Jupiter Research suggests European consumers who download music from illegal file-sharing websites outnumber those using legal services.
It says illegal networks are used three times as much as legal ones.
It also warns that file-sharers, particularly young people, have little concept of music as a paid commodity.
The UK music industry has been cracking down on illegal file-sharing.
The BPI recently stepped up its campaign by launching 65 new legal cases against those it accuses of large-scale file-sharing.
Jupiter analyst Mark Mulligan said: "The digital youth of today are being brought up on a near limitless diet of free and disposable music from file-sharing networks.
"When these consumers age and increase spending power they should become key music buying consumers.
He added: "Unless the music industry can transition these consumers whilst they are young away from free consumption to paid music formats, be they digital or CDs, they may never develop music purchasing behaviour and the recording industry could suffer long-term harm."
The research suggests only five per cent of all internet consumers pay to download music while 15% share the music without paying.
In the 15-24 year age group, 34% admitted to sharing music online without paying for it.
However, the report did find a solid demand for paid music downloads from sites such as iTunes, with 10% of Europeans willing to pay to download tracks.
Sweden reported the highest demand with 31% prepared to pay.