Teens Discover Legal Downloading Sites
July 27, 2009 at 4:32 AM (PT)
NEW YORK venture capitalist FRED WILSON's son, JOSH WILSON may just be a case study for the future of downloading music, writes THE NEW YORK TIMES. On his blog, WILSON writes his son has started streaming TV shows from NETFLIX, using the family’s $24-a-month subscription plan and listening to licensed, ad-supported music from YOUTUBE on his iPHONE.
Asked by his dad why he was not using file-sharing services like BITTORRENT, JOSH replied, "BITTORRENT takes too long."
Is this an opportunity for the music business?
After years of digital piracy that has helped to gut album sales, a number of new streaming music sites are "making the experience of legally finding and listening to music just as seductive as downloading it free," writes THE TIMES. "Many music industry observers now believe that there is a fundamental shift under way: from illegal downloads to licensed streaming services like MYSPACE MUSIC, IMEEM and SPOTIFY."
"We have been on this endless hunt for a decade trying to accumulate both our all-time favorites and the new hits," said LEFSETZ LETTER Publisher BOB LEFSETZ, who believes charging users monthly subscriptions for access to streaming sites on the Web and their phones is the future. "Why are you going to steal if all of a sudden you can check it out quickly on a streaming service?"
There have been recent studies of online behavior that give some in the business hope. In JUNE, MUSICALLY and THE LEADING QUESTION, found that the percentage of 14-18 year-olds using file-sharing services at least once a month dropped to 26% in JANUARY 2009 from 42% in DECEMBER 2007. Also, the NPD GROUP reported that teens illegally downloaded 6% fewer songs in 2008 than in 2007, while more than half said they were now listening to legal online radio services like PANDORA, up from 34% the previous year.