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歐盟委員會聯合研究中心發現:Spotify有打擊音樂盜版行為的效果

歐盟委員會聯合研究中心發現:Spotify有打擊音樂盜版行為的效果

◎歐盟委員會聯合研究中心發佈了最新研究表示,Spotify有助於打擊盜版行為。研究人員調查了合法串流對種子下載(torrent downloads)的影響,發現Spotify取代了一些盜版行為,但串流同時也削減了合法單曲的銷售,因此對收入的總體影響不顯著。

◎Spotify於2008年秋天推出測試版開始,以免費有廣告及付費無廣告兩種方案帶給用戶上百萬首合法授權音樂,顯然已成為未獲授權之音樂下載的強勁競爭對手。

◎雖然一直有支持上述說法的言論,但沒有相關主題的實際研究,歐盟委員會聯合研究中心的新研究填補了這個長期的空白。研究人員Luis Aguiar和Joel Waldfogel比較8000名藝人在Spotify上之串流數據、非法種子網站的下載資料及合法的數位單曲銷售資料,得出結論為Spotify對盜版行為有明確的替代效應──每47次串流即可減少1次非法下載。

◎這對音樂產業來說是個好消息,但並不代表必定會產生更多收入。除了盜版行為,串流服務同樣也影響著iTunes和其他平台上的合法音樂銷售。該研究也顯示,Spotify上每137次串流就會減少1首數位單曲的銷售。目前音樂產業從每首歌曲銷售所獲得的收入為0.82美元,每次串流獲得的平均收入為0.007美元,從銷售的位移估計顯示,損失的歌曲銷售收入大致上和增長的串流銷售收入抵銷,也就是對於唱片音樂產業來說,互動性的串流媒體是屬於收入中和的。

◎串流服務對音樂產業的長遠影響勢必需要更多的研究來佐證,不過我們現在至少可以有把握地認為,串流服務確實有助於打擊線上的盜版行為。

詳細內文:

New research published by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre shows that Spotify is helping to beat piracy. The researchers examined the effects of legal streaming on torrent downloads and found that Spotify displaces piracy. However, the overall impact on revenue is neutral as streaming also cuts legal track sales.

When Spotify launched its first beta in the fall of 2008 we branded it “an alternative to music piracy.”

With the option to stream millions of tracks supported by an occasional ad, or free of ads for a small subscription fee, Spotify appeared to be a serious competitor to unauthorized downloading.

While there has been plenty of anecdotal support for this claim, actual research on the topic has been lacking. A new study published by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre aims to fill this gap.

In the study researchers Luis Aguiar (IPTS) and Joel Waldfogel (NBER) compare Spotify streaming data to download numbers from the 8,000 pirated artists on torrent sites, as well as legal digital track sales.

Based on this data the researchers conclude that Spotify has a clear displacement effect on piracy. For every 47 streams the number of illegal downloads decreases by one.

This is in line with comments from Spotify’s Daniel Ek, who previously argued that the streaming service helps to convert pirates into paying customers.

“According to these results, an additional 47 streams reduces by one the number of tracks obtained without payment,” the paper reads (pdf).

“This piracy displacement is consistent with Ek’s claim that Spotify’s bundled offering harvests revenue from consumers who – or at least from consumption instances – were previously not generating revenue,” the researchers add.

While that’s good news for the music industry, it doesn’t necessarily mean that more revenue is being generated. In addition to piracy, streaming services also impact legal track sales on iTunes and other platforms.

According to the researchers, 137 Spotify streams reduce the number of individual digital track sales by one. Factoring in the revenue per stream and download, the overall impact is relatively neutral.

“Given the current industry’s revenue from track sales ($0.82 per sale) and the average payment received per stream ($0.007 per stream), our sales displacement estimates show that the losses from displaced sales are roughly outweighed by the gains in streaming revenue.”

“In other words, our analysis shows that interactive streaming appears to be revenue-neutral for the recorded music industry,” the researchers add.

More studies are needed to see how streaming services impact the music industry in the long run, but for now it’s safe to conclude that they do indeed help to beat online piracy, as often suggested.

Torrent Freak

https://goo.gl/Rz3n8K