Average Teen’s iPod Has $800 Of Pirated Music

Jun 16th, 2008 | By | Category: General, iPods & Portable Media Players

According to a new survey, the average teenager’s iPod has about $800 of pirated music on it:

On average every iPod or digital music player contained 842 illegally copied songs. The proportion of illegally downloaded tracks rises to 61 per cent among 14 to 17-year-olds. In addition, 14 per cent of CDs (one in seven) in a young person’s collection are copied.

Illegal copying in some form is undertaken by 96 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds surveyed, falling to 89 per cent of those aged 14-17. Nearly two thirds copy CDs from friends, and similar proportions share songs by e-mail and copy all the music held on another person’s hard drive, acquiring up to 10,000 songs in one go.

The University of Hertfordshire’s stats seem high, but if the actual numbers are anywhere near these, it’s no wonder why the mainstream music industry is hurting.

The industry needs to open up to new ideas, like using podcasting as a promotional tool, and creating CD releases that are more of a tactile experience, so that there’s more value in owning the physical release.

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15 Responses to “Average Teen’s iPod Has $800 Of Pirated Music”

  1. Brad says:

    The mainstream music industry is hurting because, instead of embracing an exciting new market for their products, they’ve spent the past 10 years fighting progress tooth-and-nail and being hostile and agressive with the consumers they expect to give them money. Given the treatment of the RIAA to their customers, its surprising that they actually are able to make any money whatsoever today… So while they bellyache about “losing” $800 of revenue on sales of music that they never would have had anyway, independent record labels are flourishing by creating interesting new music (instead of just repackinging the same crap that the big labels have been pushing for 20 years), giving people easy access to that music (by embracing online purchasing), and they aren’t encumbering the consumers use of that music (through the use of archaic DRM). If the big labels can’t see the error in their ways, then in a truly free market, they should either fix it or perish. There is no law that states that big record labels must exist at the expense of the small independent labels and consumers’ rights.

  2. dimijamezpao says:

    Ha! I found this while working on an opinion paper about music piracy, and here is what ive found so far.

    Music Piracy: You Wouldn’t Steal It!

    Almost everyone has seen the controversial anti-piracy “You Wouldn’t Steal a Car” advertisement by Universal Studios. Not only does piracy exist for the movie industry, but for the music industry as well. One of the most controversial topics of the century, music piracy has stretched its way across the world, from China to Sweden to the US. The question that has been debated since the invention of the audio cassette—is music piracy legal?
    I believe that when someone purchases music, they purchase the rights to that piece of music and thus can share it or use it in whatever way they see fit. I think that in most cases, pirated or shared music—like when you copy a CD for a friend or family member—can actually help the artist.
    For example, I used to have 4 “shared” songs from the album Paper Trail by T.I. on my iPod. I ended up enjoying the music so much that I went to Best Buy and bought the hard copy of Paper Trail. In this way, pirated or shared music can encourage buyers to go out and buy an artist’s album.
    Another way pirated music helps artists is by giving “radio time” to little known, independent label artists. Only a handful of artists are signed with the major labels—Universal, Sony BMG, and Warner: most artists belong to small, independent labels. Those few major labels have the money to publicize their artist’s music—Music videos, radio time, or ads, but the many independent labels do not. Nobody wants to buy a song that they haven’t listened to firsthand, so pirated music can act as sort of “radio” for the little known independent labels, letting buyers experiment with unknown artists.
    Music piracy has long blamed for the downfall of retailers. However, this could be because the smaller companies can’t compete with the discounted albums from the big retailers—Best Buy®, iTunes, and Wal-Mart.

  3. [...] download music download it illegaly and of those that have CDs 14% of those CDs are illegal copies (Citation). Now, $800 is a lot of money, so obviously something has to be wrong. Can we really trust the [...]

  4. jake says:

    Just because they have $800 (just under £500) of music
    dosen’t mean that they would have spent $800 on the music before
    all they would have done is have less music, simple as

    they just say this stuff to make them seem all innocent
    they haven’t embraced the internet at all
    - they just better start quick before its too late

  5. Max Freeman says:

    I personally have 1016 pirated songs on my ipod, BUT, before people go pointing the finger at me for killing the music industry, the music i liseten to is very niche market that generally comes under the umbrella of hardstyle, look it up, I cannot buy this music easily in Australia and am pretty much forced to pirate songs.

    Despite this however if this study was done it wouldnt mention who produced this music and therefore most studies on this subject are incomplete or invalid. The way I see it mainstream music isn’t worth a purchase at these ridiculous prices, not even worth my bandwidth. The music industry should stop this witch-hunt on their consumers and instead looking at possibly making music as good as the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s, everything has gone to shit since the pop of the 90′s.

    Mabye look at making more albums like the Rolling Stones had. Todays albums are little more than glorified singles, with 2 or 3 good songs and 15 that are just plain bad, why should I pay $30 for what is in essence 2 or 3 dollars of music. Please, get over yourself music industry and make music that’s worth paying for. We are not the criminals, you are, you give little money to the actual artist and supress inovation.

  6. thomasinno says:

    Hmmm… I just checked:
    My kids ipod only has songs that he has ripped from cd's as .wav files on it. We buy CDC's used for 50 cents to three dollars: why would we pay that much for 128kb MP3's which sound absolutely horrible.
    My wife and my son and I can all hear the difference between mp3's of any quality (90-320kbps) and wave files…Mp3/4's are in no way "high quality": they sound awful.
    Where is this data from?

    And some artists are true artists and WANT their music stolen!!!
    http://archive.salon.com/tech/feature/2000/06/14/

  7. [...] all the comments. Need a new Made in the UK Promo – we’ve been doing that for 6 months! Teens have lots of pirate music, the BPI still don’t get it. The UK fuel strike, who benefits? Holding the UK to ransom. [...]

  8. mrchitown7 says:

    I have an extensive MP3 music collection much of it was downloaded a decade ago back in the Napster hay day. Recently I have been feeling guilty about it due to a few ethics classes I’m taking along with some good sermans from my pastor. I would like to legalize much of it and delete some others that I don’t really need but have yet to find a way of doing that. All I can see is I must delete the whole thing and start over. I have put alot of time in organization, info on tags, and putting album artwork in the files, I just hate to delete all that work. I wish they would come up with a site that I could just pay a moderate amount to legally own these songs. Because there is no distrobution costs at all it could be reasonably cost effective for me to do this now that I’m not a completely broke college student. I wonder why there seems to be no way to legalize a collection, it seems like a good idea to me.

    • captain planet says:

      Maybe you could consider donating to each of the artists directly. It would be a hassle, but you could.

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