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The youth want content for free

Written by Michael Coyle on 28 June 2014

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For this report, YouGov SixthSense commissioned a survey among YouGov’s online panel, drawing on a sample of 1,907 UK adults aged 16+ and 614 children aged 8-15. Over 40 questions were asked in total, covering (but not limited to) the following topics:Edit report section

  • Profiling the devices and services used by consumers
  • Reasons for using file-sharing websites
  • Changes in usage of file-sharing websites
  • Attitudes towards paying for digital content
  • How consumers’ downloading/streaming activity has changed over time
  • Consumer attitudes towards piracy
  • Identifying the occasions when physical content is chosen over digital content
  • Attitudes towards digital and physical content
  • Identifying key influencers on children’s choice of music, film and TV
  • How children share and pay for content
  • Amount of pocket money children receive and what they spend it on.

As the Guardian reported the issue is the lack of faith in copyright.

"Less than one in ten (7%) agreed with the statement that "file sharing is a form of stealing", although 45% agreed or strongly agreed that it is wrong to access content online without the creator's permission. When asked specifically about online file-sharing such as bittorrent sites and "file lockers", support dries up. Only 6% agree that using the sites is easy and 7% agree that it has become "a normal thing to do".

"Children aged 8-15 are the key adopters of digital technology, and are likely to be more familiar with accessing content without paying," says James McCoy, YouGov's Research Director. "File sharing is most common amongst younger adults; cost and availability are key drivers."

McCoy added: "Children in this generation have grown up with digital material and are used to having access to what they want, when they want it and, for some of the time not paying for it." But it's not just file sharing driving that attitude. YouGov points out that "online services that offer a free service (usually ad-supported) such as Spotify, YouTube and Blinkbox, tend to be popular" amongst children.

"All these studies suggest the same solution to reducing unauthorized sharing: offering easy-to-use services at fair prices," says Glyn Moody at Techdirt. "When will it ever learn?"

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