Wednesday, 03 January, 2001

Napster Increases Record Sales?

There's an interesting item on Slashdot today about an article that appeared in the January issue of American Demographics.  According to studies mentioned in the article, Napster and other online file sharing systems actually generate sales and put more money in artists' pockets.  I always suspected as much, but had no way of proving it.  The idea isn't so surprising, especially when you consider that, as I pointed out in my November 20 entry, some book publishers have discovered that they can increase sales by providing sample chapters or entire books online.  Many people like to try things before buying, and are willing to pay real money for an item if they like what they see.  But without an opportunity to sample the merchandise first, they'll never open their wallets.  Sure, there are some who won't pay at all if they don't have to.  But that percentage is apparently much smaller than record companies and Metallica would have you believe.