File-sharing called good for music biz

The report, released by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School and research firm Gartner Inc., surveyed 475 so-called early adopters, or computer users who are among the first wave of frequent music downloaders.

Nearly one-quarter of frequent online music users say that the ability to share music with others is a key factor when selecting an online music service. And a third were interested in technology that helps them discover and recommend music, such as tools that allow Internet users to publish and rank lists of their favorite songs. Perhaps most important for the recording industry, a tenth of those surveyed said they frequently make music purchases based on others’ recommendations.

Of course file swappers enjoy the discovery and recommendation aspects of file sharing, that doesn’t mean file sharing as it stands is “good for the music business.”

The article goes on to state that harnessing the marketing tool provided from word-of-mouth promotion could potentially help the recording industry.  I agree, yet harnessing it alone is not going to save the RIAA either (who would want to anyway?).  The RIAA needs to embrace the technology and the mentality of Napster (currently) and other subscription based plans.  Once again I’m pounding on the VCL (Voluntary Collective Licensing) door.

In other news.  The same group that did the above study, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, also have a detailed article about P2P on  It’s long, but worth the read.