A new survey just highlighted that three quarters of teens feel that file sharing should be legal. This pretty much caps any chance for the music industry to survive under their current model.
The issue here is that if kids are perceiving file sharing as something that should be legal, they will probably not grow out of it. Half of the teens that were polled had downloaded free music and gave an interesting set of reasons:
Those who download music but have never paid for a download say they download because: They only like one or two songs on a CD (59%); They want to get music quickly (48%); They believe that music is too expensive to buy (46%); They want to get music for free (44%); They want songs that are not available for sale (40%); And they believe that music should be shared (38%).
There is hope though. If you look at those stats, stores like the Apple iTunes Music Store or the new Napster can satisfy over 50 percent of the public. The third point, however, shows issues relating to pricing. Obviously, the Internet has had an impact here as kids are probably more aware than their parents about the cost of music production. They are realizing that prices are artificially inflated to outrageous levels. What is needed here, however, is some level of education. While 46% saw music as too expensive, 44% thought it should be free. This is a huge warning sign for the music industry as it is seen as an industry creating no value. If I were working in that industry, I would worry.
At issue here too is the fact that some music is not available for sale. This is an interesting stat. What are those kids looking for? Any smart music marketer should investigate this one and make sure they start offering this content online. Could be a good way to unleash some extra value.
Last but not least is the fact that more than one third (38%) think music should be shared. Let’s not forget that this kids are the next generation which will come into the workforce in the future. If two thirds of them believe that lawsuits for file sharing are wrong and over a third of them believe that music should be shared, the RIAA will loose the public relations fight in the long run.