As a student of this business we call music, I often find myself assuming everybody knows about new online services (your Pandoras and last.fms). Well, apparently I was super wrong. Consumer Focus, an advocacy group in the UK whose goal is to "be the voice of the consumer, and work to secure a fair deal on their behalf," has discovered some alarming statistics. First of all, only 60% of consumers are aware that online music services exist. As a marketer of any of the more than 20 services (Spotify, 7 Digital, et. al.) this automatically means they are leaving nearly half of the market untapped. Furthermore, and this is the part that upsets me, of the people who are aware of legal online music sources, 85% of them have only heard of Amazon.com &/or iTunes. That's like 85% of consumers not knowing they could shop anywhere other than WalMart and Target. Even more offensive, though, is governments and major record labels are going after consumers for being vicious music pirates without even making sure that these consumers know about the plethora of legal avenues that exist to satisfy their music needs. As Jill Johnstone of Consumer Focus said, "If file sharing is causing the damage the music industry claims, why aren't they putting more effort into promoting the legal alternatives? Before we go down the enforcement road, it is only fair to ask the music industry to do more to make people aware of the legal options."
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