Tuesday, November 09, 2004

... YES, BUT: You'll doubtless have read the headlines on the National Bureau of Economic Research study on downloading, which is being touted as Music piracy 'does hit CD sales'. Except, actually, we're not entirely convinced that that is what it says. It does say that (the very limited and affluent) group of students they interviewed claimed they'd have bought an extra fifth of a CD for each one they downloaded, but what this survey actually proves is not that the downloading cost the sales, but that being able to hear them before they bought them did. Which isn't the same thing.

In addition, for some reason the study only concerned itself with hit albums from the last ten years, which means it had no way of tracking if Joe Student decided, since he'd heard the latest Limp Bizkit and not liked it, he'd gone off to buy a Black Sabbath album instead. Something to remember when the RIAA try and "prove" stuff with this study.