This week the last significant amendments will be made to the UK’s Digital Economy Bill in the Lords, which will aim to drive consumers away from online copyright infringement and towards legal services.
But a new survey from Consumer Focus shows that the public has a painfully low awareness of these legal alternatives and more needs to be done to communicate their services to the public.
A poll of close to 2,000 adults aged 15 and above found that, despite there being more than 20 services in the market, 85 per cent of those aware of such services could only name iTunes and Amazon.
Established streaming services such as Spotify and last.fm were named by just two per cent and one per cent of consumers respectively.
Jill Johnstone, international director, Consumer Focus, said: ‘The music industry is shooting itself in the foot by not promoting legal online music services. If file sharing is causing the damage the music industry claims, why aren’t they putting more effort into promoting the legal alternatives? Before we go down the enforcement road it is only fair to ask the music industry to do more to make people aware of the legal options.’
Meanwhile, the increasing dominance of online music delivery was illustrated last week by Sony Music announcing it was to phase out the mailing of physical stock and switch to a digital e-card system for the distribution of promotional music.
Ged Doherty, chairman of Sony Music, said in an email to its media partners: ‘Digital promo is set to become an industry standard as other major and independent music companies also make the switch. Physical stock is expensive, difficult to store and environmentally unfriendly.’