Economic effect of downloading a net winJanuary 23, 2009
A new report, commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands, to look at the effects of downloading was just released (here; it’s in Dutch, of course). Some of the findings were not entirely unexpected – for example, 35% of the Dutch population has downloaded content (music, movies, games) without paying for it, but they pay for content as much as those that haven’t ‘freeloaded.’
But the most interesting point was the following (it’s quoted from Ars Technica, who posted about the report):
The study concludes that the effects are strongly positive because consumers get to enjoy desirable content and also get to keep their cash to buy other things. Because the consumers save much more money than the producers lose, the net economic effects are positive. The report also reinforces the truth that unpaid downloads do not translate into lost sales in anything close to a one-to-one ratio.
It’s refreshing to see downloading considered in the context of society as a whole, rather than just in terms of money lost by corporations.
If anyone reads Dutch, I’d be interested in the rest of the report. Feel free to e-mail me or to share in the comments.
[via Ars Technica]