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Peer-to-peer network survey: BitTorrent users more likely to pay for content

One of the arguments often put forward in favour of online piracy is that those who illegally download content are more likely to purchase that content at a later date. Well now, BitTorrent has some figures to back-up that assertion.

Following a survey of 2,500 of its users, the peer-to-peer network found that file-sharers are more engaged than the average consumer.

Read more: Spotify killer? BitTorrent to offer artists 90% cut in new legitimate service

BitTorrent users are also 170 per cent more likely to have purchased digital music over the last month when compared with traditional consumers, with half of the respondents regularly paying for music every month.

Utilising figures from the US music industry trade group, the RIAA, BitTorrent also claimed that its users are eight times as likely to pay for a subscription music streaming service, such as Spotify. 16 per cent of BitTorrent users held an account at one of these platforms, compared with two per cent of the general public.

Perhaps more surprisingly, torrent users were also more likely to purchase physical media as well. 45 per cent and 10 per cent of those surveyed had bought CDs and vinyl respectively in the last 12 months, suggesting that the company’s own BitTorrent bundles could increase in popularity.

“The results confirm what we knew already, that our users are super fans. They are consumers of content and are eager to reward artists for their work,” Christian Averill, BitTorrent’s director of communications, said in an interview with Torrent Freak.

“BitTorrent Bundle was started based on this premise and we have more than 10,000 artists now signed up, with more to come. With 90 per cent of purchase going to the content creators, BitTorrent Bundle is the most artist friendly, direct-to-fan distribution platform on the market.”

Read more: BitTorrent’s Sync ready to drop the Beta tag

Some may criticise the survey for its small sample size, but it certainly paints torrent users in a positive light. It also suggests that are ways for content providers to use peer-to-peer networks legitimately to target consumers that are more receptive to purchasing films and music.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.