Illegal file swapping of music has actually encouraged consumers to spend more money on their favourite bands, according to new research.
The Jupiter Research study pours cold water on music industry fears that file swapping services like Napster are killing trade.
More than 34 per cent of file swappers claim to be spending more on music than before, and only 14 per cent of heavy file traders say they spend less, according to the survey.
More than 3,319 file swappers were surveyed for the report and is proof that online file swapping is good for the industry, according to lead author Aram Sinnreich.
"It is safe to say that active usage of online music content is one of the best predictors of increased consumer purchasing," he said.
Sinnreich called on music sellers to devote resources to online marketing and distribution instead of fighting it.
According to Jupiter's report, the average drop in an individual's music spending was larger than the average increase in spending. This effect could explain the overall drop in record sales.
However, the record industry has dismissed the report claiming that file swappers are unlikely to tell the truth to researchers.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said that its own research found that 35 per cent of people who download more than 20 songs a month say they buy less music.
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