Page last updated at 16:41 GMT, Monday, 10 August 2009 17:41 UK

Downloading 'dips' among young fans

MP3 player
Plans to crack down on illegal downloads were outlined in June

There has been a slight drop - from 63% last year to 61% this year - in the number of young people illegally downloading music, a survey suggests.

The UK Music-commissioned study, now in its second year, also found that 85% of those who downloaded illegally would pay for an unlimited download service.

UK Music is an umbrella body that represents the British music industry.

Some 1,808 14 to 24-year-olds from across the UK were surveyed this spring by the University of Hertfordshire.

A spokesman for UK Music said peer-to-peer use had "remained pretty static" as there was a 3% margin of error in the figures.

Of the 61% of respondents who said they illegally downloaded music, 83% said they did so on a daily or weekly basis.

Last year's survey research was based on 773 respondents.

'Write and sue'

Of those who said they would pay for an unlimited MP3 download service, 77% said they would continue to buy CDs.

We will achieve nothing if we do not work with music fans and young music fans, in particular
Feargal Sharkey
UK Music

And 78% of respondents said they would not pay for a streaming service, such as Spotify.

UK Music chief executive, Feargal Sharkey, said: "Over the past 12 months, the licensed digital music market has diversified enormously - epitomised by competition in the download market and the traction being gained by streaming services."

He added: "Clearly, the shape of our entire business will continue to evolve.

"However, we will achieve nothing if we do not work with music fans and young music fans, in particular."

A spokesman for UK Music said peer-to-peer use had "remained pretty static" as there was a 3% margin of error in the figures.

"However, P2P is only one element in what is a hugely complex picture," he said. "Whether it's online or offline, fans continue to access and share recorded music in a variety of ways.

"Consequently, while the interest in all-you-can-eat MP3 services is massively encouraging, we remain optimistic that the future of music will involve a variety of licensed services."

In was announced in the Digital Britain report, published in June, that the government would give greater powers to media regulator Ofcom and internet service providers to tackle illegal file-sharing.

The new powers will allow them to identify illegal downloaders and pursue a "write and sue" approach for the worst offenders.



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