Conventional wisdom says that as you make online music easier to buy rather than steal1, then buy-rather-than-steal becomes more preferred.
Turns out this is bullshit. As the number of legal downloading, streaming and listening opportunities continues to expand, the number of US uni students (the stealingest bunch there is) who steal rather than buy is increasing, not decreasing.
The percentage of college students in our survey that DO NOT buy digital music has risen from 26.5% in 2014 to 36.7% in 2015. This corresponds to reports of drops in sales of digital music elsewhere.
So that’s (let me just calculate here, hold on…) a whole shitload more musicians this year not getting paid for their work than last year.
What was the last piece of music you bought legally?
1. Yes, I know there are arguments that downloading someone else’s music without paying for it and without their permission not to pay for it is not stealing. It’s just that those arguments are ludicrously self-serving, and wrong.