Music downloads good for CD sales - report

Evidence that MP3 can actually help the record industry begins to emerge
Written by Will Knight, Contributor

Contrary to previous research, downloading digital music over the Internet actually increases the sales of CDs according to the latest survey from the Digital Media Association, says The Wall Street Journal Thursday.

The research suggests that the majority of computer users who download music over the Internet are likely to then buy a legal copy, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The new study will reportedly show that 66 percent of consumers polled said they would be likely to purchase music after downloading it. Just six percent said that downloading music has stopped them buying CDs.

The survey was conducted by market research company Yankelovich in the month of March and polled 16,903 consumers aged between 13 and 39. The Digital Media Association represents companies involved with Internet video and audio services.

A recent survey from research firm SoundScan has indicated that technologies such as the controversial MP3 file sharing application Napster are directly responsible for declining record sales.

Another study from digital rights management organisation Magex, also published Thursday flies in the face of the Digital Media Association's research, estimating that music piracy will cost the music industry $10bn (£6.6bn) a year unless prevented. CEO of Magex, Peter Beverley, recommends industry co-operation to stem the problem.

"At present, the music industry is using the law as its first line of defence," he says. "In short, the breadth of the problem and the speed of technological advance is likely to overwhelm the judicial system."

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