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Facts & Research


2024 | Piracy Impact

Measuring the Effect of File Sharing on Music Purchases | University of Texas at Dallas

This paper estimates the effect of music downloads on the probability of purchasing music. A simple comparison of means shows that people who regularly download music online are more likely to buy music.

Key Findings

  • Peer‐to‐peer usage reduces the probability of a consumer buying music by 30%.
  • Without downloads, music sales in 2002 would have been around 7.8% higher.
  • According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, album sales grew from $24.1 billion in 1990 to $39.4 billion in 1996 and remained at a high level until 1999. Global music sales began to fall from 2000—2003.

Source: Alejandro Zentner, University of Texas at Dallas