Washington, DC (March 28, 2005)–About 36 million Americans–or 27 percent of internet users–say they download either music or video files and about half of them have found ways outside of traditional peer-to-peer networks or paid online services to gather and swap their files, according to the most recent survey of the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
The Project’s national survey of 1,421 adult Internet users conducted between January 13 and February 9, 2005 shows that 19 percent of current music and video downloaders, about 7 million adults, say they have downloaded files from someone else’s iPod or MP3 player. About 28 percent, or 10 million people, say they get music and video files via email and instant messages. There is some overlap between these two groups; 9 percent of downloaders say they have used both of these sources.
In all, 48 percent of current downloaders have used sources other than peer-to-peer networks or paid music and movie services to get music or video files. Beyond MP3 players, email and instant messaging, these alternative sources include music and movie websites, blogs and online review sites.
The survey of internet users has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.
“Though much public attention has been paid to the file-sharing activity that happens on peer-to-peer networks, it’s harder to monitor the type of everyday sharing or ‘privatized’ file-sharing that is taking place between informal networks of friends and family,” said Mary Madden, a research specialist at the Pew Internet Project who wrote a new Project report on file-sharing. “We’ve seen the recording industry lawsuits deter some peer-to-peer users and many have migrated to paid music services. But the most striking new observation is the incidence of workarounds and alternative ways people are using to trade files.”
Pew Internet & American Life Project