So, finally the results of my work with STIM (Swedish Performing Rights Society) is out in the open. During the latest months I have done a lot of work trying to create a deeper understanding and broader picture of the file sharing universe, the technology, the behaviors among file sharers, the scope of downloaded files in Sweden etc. As I am a file sharer myself I believe I have had a lot of use of my former experiences of the networks, all the way back to DCC commands at IRC…
Here are some of the numbers that got presented yesterday:
I estimate that 700 to 900 million music files where downloaded through file sharing networks in Sweden during 2007. As there is around 1,3 million file sharers (numbers from SCB, Mediavision and WII) each file sharer in general downloaded 540 to 700 music files during 2007.
This estimate is based on making a comparison with international studies done by firms like Jupiter, Ipsos and Pollara, numbers on digital sales and downloads from IFPI as well as a lot of other surveys and studies done in different countries. I have analyzed the total of the music market in Sweden and compared the number of Internet users, file sharers and broadband connections with the different countries that the research firms have investigated and tried to get a relevant ratio between the number of sold downloads and downloads done through filesharing networks. Additionaly I have analyzed the largest networks (BitTorrent, DC, Gnutella, eDonkey and Fasttrack) and combined it with my own research of behaviors among Swedish file sharers where I have found that there is a fairly large group “heavy downloaders” in Sweden that are downloading thousands of songs every year. If 50 000 file sharers downloads 3 000 songs each, they themselves are accounting for 150 million downloads.
This is of course an estimate, but based on the existing data I feel that this estimate is the best I can do anyway. A totally other question is of course how relevant these numbers are for the future music industry. Is the copy in itself really the unit that should be monetized upon?
I don’t believe so, but I leave that question for another blog post.