Before we get to the numbers in the survey, the conclusion was that the best way for the music industry to combat online piracy was to promote legal online sales, something that the industry so far has failed to do. These numbers are startling:
- Of the almost 2000 people surveyed in the UK, 4 in 10 couldn't name a single online music service (there are about 20)
- 9 out of 10 consumers that are aware of online music services are only aware of 2: iTunes and Amazon.
- The IFPI (the UK music trade organization that's the equivalent to the US RIAA) estimates that 95% of music downloaded last year was illegal, a figure that seems way high to me, but whatever the real figure is, it's certainly high.
The other thing is that the major labels generally hate the fact that they've lost the battle of distribution to a computer company, namely Apple, which still calls the shots on pricing. I have a feeling that some of the people that run the majors would rather drink tainted milk than give in to Steve Jobs again, so the idea of sending business his way probably makes them wretch just as much.
I'm not sure how much merit the idea of promoting legal file sharing to prevent piracy really has though, since the 40% who couldn't name a single online service probably aren't computer hip enough to illegally download either. But sooner or later, it will behoove the record industry to finally promote online music, so it might as well be sooner.