About 36 million Americans — or 27 percent of Internet users — say they download either music or video files and about half of them have found ways outside of traditional peer-to-peer networks or paid online services to swap their files, according to the most recent survey of the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
The Project's national survey of 1,421 adult Internet users conducted between January 13 and February 9, 2005 shows that 19 percent of current music and video downloaders, or about 7 million adults, say they have downloaded files from someone else's iPod or MP3 player. Another 28 percent , or roughly 10 million people, say they get files via email and instant messages. The survey of Internet users has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.
“Though much public attention has been paid to the file-sharing activity that happens on peer-to-peer networks, it's harder to monitor the type of everyday sharing or ‘privatized' file-sharing that is taking place between informal networks of friends and family,” said Mary Madden, a Research Specialist at the Pew Internet Project who wrote a new Project report on file-sharing. “We've seen the recording industry lawsuits deter some peer-to-peer users and many have migrated to paid music services. But the most striking new observation is the incidence of workarounds and alternative ways people are using to trade files.”
There are several other highlights in the new Pew Internet Project survey:
About The Pew Internet & American Life Project
The Pew Internet & American Life Project is a non-profit initiative of the Pew Research Center, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts to explore the impact of the Internet on children, families, communities, health care, schools, the work place, and civic/political life. The Project is non-partisan and does not advocate for any policy outcomes.