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Journal of the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association

Volume 10, Number 1 (2010)

Can The Madness Be Monetized? An Exploratory Survey of Music Piracy and Acquisition Behavior

Storm Gloor
University of Colorado Denver

Clyde Philip Rolston
Belmont University


In 2009, the worldwide music industry generated $17 billion of revenue in sales, less than half of what it generated nine years earlier. The aftermath of more than just Napster, this is the reality of an intricate relationship between technological advancements and consumer demands. However, early attempts to address these issues seem, in hindsight, more reactive than proactive. For instance, using the legal system to make examples out of illicit services and, more devastatingly, their users resulted in a public relations nightmare that still haunts the industry today. Moving past the murky efficacy of spoofing, digital rights management, and internet service provider three strikes ordinances, the question still remains: how do we monetize this new music business landscape? A 2008-2009 online survey sought to find this answer directly from the consumer by asking, among other things, how they obtain and listen to music, and what, if any, music subscription service fees they would be comfortable paying. The survey discovered that if the music industry delivered music in a fashion that was convenient to use, it could attract and integrate non-paying consumers. Therefore, the survey reiterated what is already known: the consumer, and not the industry, dictates the method of delivery.

Keywords: music piracy, music sales, music licensing, rights organizations, marketing, music subscription, music streaming

Gloor, Storm, and Clyde Philip Rolston. “Can The Madness Be Monetized? An Exploratory Survey of Music Piracy and Acquisition Behavior.” Journal of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association 10, no. 1 (2010): 13-38.  https://doi.org/10.25101/10.1

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