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Half online youth share music - report

Those kids just don't care about the evils of Napster

The world's online youth is apparently ignoring the controversy surrounding file-sharing services like Napster, with nearly half of young Internet users having downloaded music from the Internet, according to an international study released last week.

Keeping Pace with the Future of Music Distribution, by research company Ipsos-Reid, found that among teens and adults aged between 12 and 24 who had used the Internet in the last month, 47 percent have downloaded a music file.

Males appear to be leading the way with 55 percent of those questioned having downloaded a music file off the Internet. That compares with 41 percent of females in the same age group.

The report indicates what users have been saying for more than a year, that the Napster experience is a pleasant one. Nearly all the young Internet users questioned said they planned to return to a song-swapping site after having downloaded a music file.

A full 90 percent of those who had downloaded digital music in the past, and just under half of those who had never downloaded music before, said they would be likely to download music again in the next 12 months.

"Finance is the key factor, as it's the cheapest way to do things for students with no disposable income," said Paul Myers who plans to launch a subscription based song-sharing site called Wippit. "They're going to be turned on by the controversy [surrounding Napster]," said Myers, who predicts that when this group matures, the transfer of digital music will be more popular than physical distribution.

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