The RIAA has used its blog to deny there is a causation link between P2P music piracy and music purchases.
The RIAA is responding to a recent study by American Assembly, which found that music pirates were more likely to buy music than people who say they mostly only sourced music from legal outlets.
Joshua P. Friedlander, Vice President of Research and Strategic Analysis at the RIAA used the official RIAA blog to dispel the suggestion that somehow piracy is helping to drive music sales. "Some commentary has misleadingly reported that people who use P2P services like BitTorrent buy more music than non-users, implying that there’s some sort of causation. In reality, the comparison is unfair – what it’s comparing is people who are interested in music with people who might not be interested at all," the blog post read.
The blog then links to an NPD study, which also showed that P2P users were bigger spenders (especially on merchandising and concert tickets), per capita, than non P2P users, which the research group NPD puts down to P2P users being "more engaged" music fans. This seem to back up American Assembly's results, although the NPD was quicker to point out that legal purchases only account for a small percentage of a typical P2P users's music collection, and that any causation links between P2P file sharing and increased spending was "silly".
Critics disagree. "But is it really that silly? Or is it possible that some file-sharers become more engaged music fans because they have access to music they wouldn't be able to afford otherwise? Could it be that these file-sharers then visit a concert of a band they wouldn't have known if they didn't pirate?" questions raised by an TorrentFreak article responding to the RIAA's latest blog entry.