are turning to authentic digital music files, and
ignoring file sharing sites. According to the Sydney Morning Herald
the reason for the trend is not because of the heavy
handed actions of the music companies in locking up file sharers.
Instead it is because of an explosion of new companies
offering tracks free, legally, without consumers having to go to peer-to-peer
sites. In other worlds people are flocking to them simply
because it is a much easier way of listening to music. What is amusing is the music industry appears to have
missed the boat. None of the sites was started by the music industry.
Itunes, Comes with Music, Spotify.com and We7.com, have
gained at least 5 million new users in their first year, mainly people
who previously downloaded illegally. The chief executive of We7, Steve Purdham, is quoted as
saying that the different music services are popping up are better than free
because it is easier than downloading illegally. There are other services planned too. Rdio.com from the
founders of Skype, Virgin Media, Sky Songs and mog.com, which will offer a
$5-a-month inclusive service.
What this appears to be saying is that p2p piracy only
thrived because the music industry did not support legal download systems. They should have twigged earlier. While the the music
industry was complaining that users wouldn't pay for tracks, the same people
were paying up to $5 a pop for ringtones on their phones.
It is also fairly clear that it has not learnt its
lession. The music industry is still leaning on ISPs, and governments to come
up with draconian penalties for file sharers, when it would be a lot more
effective to support music and film sites at a reasonable price.
All this is going on when this year was the most successful
in British history for singles sales. More than 117 million have been sold —
comfortably beating the previous record of 115.1 million, set last year.