Do you download as much free music these days using P2P services?
Anecdotally, the number of people building their digital music collections using P2P appears to be shrinking – a development highlighted in a recent New York Times article.
It is a stark contrast to not that long ago when downloading free music was something done by many people, who never thought about the legal consequences. Even when the RIAA went on the warpath by suing people, it had little impact on how people behaved.
This trend, however, seems to be changing, and it strikes me as having a lot to do with availability. Rather than having to “own” a song or CD, a growing number of people are content to simply access what they want when they want using services such as Pandora, Songza, MySpace and Spotify.
Many of these services are free, allowing people to get a musical fix without having to dig in their pockets. Of course, if they like what they hear, there are lots of options – iTunes, etc. – to quickly make a digital purchase.
Stepping back from the fray, the apparent decline of music acquisition using P2P is stunning given it was so prolific anot that long ago. This isn’t to suggest the music industry will thrive again because the business models have clearly changed, and will continue to evolve.
That said, it is impressive to see how Spotify, a Swedish music streaming start-up that has taken Europe by storm, has become one of the hottest startups.
Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek hit the hammer on the nail when he told the NYT that:
“Piracy is essentially the consumer’s wish to have everything on demand. It’s not like people want to necessarily have it for free,” adding that piracy has thrived because due to the lack of services “that allowed people to discover new music and easily share music with friends.”
Are you still downloading music using P2P? If so, why?