Convenience trumps fear in digital music

In this article, Arstechnica talks about a new study that suggests convenience, not the threat of legal action, is why consumers use music services like iTunes instead of downloading songs from p2p file sharing networks.

Consumer choice and convenience are regal pair motivating people to plunk down their hard earned cash. Almost half of those polled who purchased music said that they liked to use commercial services because they often only want to purchase one song instead of an entire album. An additional one-third cited the convenience of getting music online, while a paltry two percent said that they were “concerned about legal issues with downloading music.” How many more customers would the entertainment industry have if they stopped treating everyone like a terrorist?

This stands in stark contrast to the current policies of the major record labels, e.g., suing college students and threatening consumers’ computers with digital rights management software.