Survey Shows Music Fans Mistrust Industry

Survey Shows Music Fans Mistrust Industry
As they will tell you at marriage counselling, relationships are built on a foundation of trust. But according to a new study, it’s trust that’s lacking between music fans and the industry. In a survey by PR agency Edelman, the number of UK consumers who said they trust the music industry is a mere 31 percent, a drop from 47 percent in 2007.

Surveying consumers aged 18 - 34, the study lays most of the blame for the rocky relationship on the industry’s desire to track down and punish those who download music illegally. It says harsh moves by companies to "protect” their business, such as calling for internet providers to police networks and cut off those engaging in illegal music-sharing practices, may be doing more harm than good.

In the study, one in four respondents confessed to downloading illegally, 24 percent had copied CDs, 18 percent shared files online and 11 percent said they had been actively campaigning for the right to access free content online, the Guardian newspaper reports. Also, nine percent said they had even used some fancy hacking tool to get around rights-protection software.

But perhaps more importantly, the study found 56 percent of UK consumers surveyed would rather buy legal content such as music, if it was reduced in price, than download it in an illegal fashion.

Steve Purdham, the chief executive of forward-thinking media providers We7.com, told the Guardian, "The music industry has been holding on to traditional infrastructure and pricing mechanisms. The industry thinks that 'free' music devalues music and that's not true — you have to give people choice… No business likes change because it causes disruption. But when you accept that change, that chaos provides massive opportunities."