A study has revealed that there's no correlation between peer-to-peer (P2P) users and lower sales by music providers.
The Dutch study by the University of Amsterdam reported that it couldn't find any proof that filesharers were responsible for a drop in music sales at big content providers. In fact, the research by Professor Nico van Eijk suggested that P2P users were actually some of the music industry's best customers.
"Only part of the decline in music sales can be attributed to file sharing. Despite the losses for the music industry, the increased accessibility of culture renders the overall welfare effects of file sharing robustly positive," said van Eijk.
He said the proliferation of digital technology means that music providers "have to explore new models to sustain their business."
In a sample of Dutch P2P users, the study found that buying music and sharing files went hand in hand. Filesharers were equally likely to buy music as non-filesharers with 68 per cent of the sample spending cash on tunes. The study also found that P2P users spent more money on merchandise and attended more concerts than non-filesharers.
"When it comes to attending concerts, and expenses on DVDs and games, file sharers are the industry's largest customers," the study reported.
So that leaves the question, why is the music industry apparently working so hard to alienate these same people?