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This study claims that music sharing isn’t negatively effecting CD sales. Here’s a big clip for those of you too lazy to read the article:

For the study, released Monday, researchers at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina tracked music downloads over 17 weeks in 2002, matching data on file transfers with actual market performance of the songs and albums being downloaded. Even high levels of file-swapping seemed to translate into an effect on album sales that was “statistically indistinguishable from zero,” they wrote.

“We find that file sharing has only had a limited effect on record sales,” the study’s authors wrote. “While downloads occur on a vast scale, most users are likely individuals who would not have bought the album even in the absence of file sharing.”

Unlikely that this is the final word on the subject, but still interesting.

Posted on - March 29, 2004 [at] 7:34 pm by Brad
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2 Comments on this post

kaddar on Music sharing doesn’t kill CD sales, study says
March 30, 2004 at 10:20 pm

I’m not so sure though, because if you think about it, high album sales would translate to high download rates simply because it’s more popular, as opposed to low sales translating to low download rates. I think these things would be proportional, and I’m not really sure if this study considers that. It might, I don’t know.

What really needs to be stated is that the study compares multiple songs of similar sales in similar economic demographics (IE: songs equal number of people have computers for and can afford to buy cds in stores). There are way too many variables, I think, to be sure that a study is accurate from the news post alone.

HeuristicsInc on Music sharing doesn’t kill CD sales, study says
April 2, 2004 at 10:53 am

You can read the whole paper on a link from that article… I don’t really feel like reading the whole thing myself because I’m at work… but if you do, let us know :)

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