Of course, even if the extent of illegal file-sharing is as big as the record industry claims – the FT says IFPI figures show 95% of downloads worldwide are illegal – legitimate digital music sales seem likely to continue to grow significantly in the next decade anyway. In fact, if you assume that the legitimate digital market didn’t really get going until the major record companies finally agreed to let legit services sell MP3s, or provide properly on-demand streaming – which wasn’t until 2008, remember – then the digital market is still very much in its infancy. File-sharing, meanwhile, got going properly in 1999. Which means illegal music services had a ten-year head start. It seems certain legal services will now grow much faster than illegal ones in the coming years.
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