While there have been plenty of arguments on both sides over the years, a recent survey by BitTorrent Inc. puts some real numbers to just how likely pirates are to actually pay for music and movies. The number of respondents is a little low to paint a general picture of all torrent users, but at least there’s evidence that not everyone is a freeloader.
Out of 2,500 users, BitTorrent found that they were 170% more likely to have paid for digital music in the last month than average consumers, with 50% regularly buying music each month, and over half paying for a movie in the last month. This applies to physical media as well, as just under half the respondents said they bought a CD in the last year, and 10% purchasing a vinyl record in the same time period.
Looking at all ways of purchasing music, BitTorrent says its users on average spend about $48 per year, while 31% spend over $100 per year. But the survey also found that streaming music and movie services are just as popular among torrent user as average consumers. Respondents are 8x more likely to have a subscription to a music streaming service, while users with movie streaming accounts were tied with those who buy movies digitally, each at 23%.
These results are certainly used to shine a positive light on BitTorrent users and attempt to fight back against the claims of the music and movie industries that pirates are the worst breed of criminal. But a better interpretation might be that this is further evidence of how tired consumers are of current business models. Streaming services seem to be the popular choice of today, but there may be other solutions, like Thom Yorke’s paygated torrent, that have yet to be explored.
SOURCE Torrent Freak