UK youngsters say digital content should be free

A new YouGov report on the attitudes of young people, ‘drawing on a sample of 1,907 UK adults aged 16+ and 614 children aged 8-15’, finds that most think digital content should be free, with cost being a major factor in piracy, along with ease of use and the fact that it has become a normal thing to do.

Should digital content be free?

  • 49% say yes. The report notes that services such as Spotify, YouTube and Blinkbox, which are ad-supported, are popular among this group.

Why do you use file sharing websites?

  • 51% of adults and 44% of children cited cost as the major motivation, with a quarter of 16-24 year olds saying this was the only way they could afford the content.
  • 27% think CD’s are too expensive.
  • 41% of adults and 38% of children consider piracy a quick and easy way to access content.

Ethical concerns

  • 16% of children strongly agree that digital piracy is wrong.
  • 7% percent think piracy is stealing.
  • 60% of adults surveyed agreed that companies and website which allowed piracy should be punished, but that users should not be.

What would motivate you pay for content?

  • 20% would pay for content if they got something new or exclusive.
  • 13% would pay to support a specific up-and-coming artist.

The report notes a growth in the use of legal alternatives, and claims the results show that opportunities exist ‘for the creative industries to address these issues and to further monetise usage’ by providing added value in the form of multimedia content, new and exclusive content, and by encouraging user generated content.

Whilst they appreciate the issues surrounding piracy and illegal downloads, if they can get away with it, then they will. Why change the habit of a lifetime? The challenge for the industry is to find ways to engage with this group to change their mind-set about accessing content and to educate them in a relevant and non-condescending way about the issues surrounding this matter,’ said YouGov Research Director James McCoy.

Douglas Crawford I am a freelance writer, technology enthusiast, and lover of life who enjoys spinning words and sharing knowledge for a living. Find me on Google+

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