A recent Pew Internet survey found that three out of every four teenagers who download music agree with the statement, "file-sharing is so easy to do, it's unrealistic to expect people not to do it." We spent some time this week talking with high school students in Manhattan to find out what albums teenagers are listening to, and, more importantly, how they got them.
RICK KARR: Here’s a little something extra for you podcast listeners. Since Apple launched the iTunes Music Store in 2003, people have downloaded more than 8.5 billion songs. Apple expects to hit the 10-billion song mark by the end of the year. About three-quarters of a million people pay a monthly fee to subscribe to Rhapsody, that service that allows users to stream any of five million songs in its catalog over the Internet. Now those are the legal services. We don't know how many songs are downloaded and streamed illegally. A recent Pew Internet survey found that three out of every four teenagers who download music agree with the following statement, quote: “File sharing is so easy to do. It’s unrealistic to expect people not to do it.”
YOUNG MAN: I like Pandora. You know Pandora? It’s a great website.
YOUNG MAN: Pandora’s awesome.
YOUNG MAN: Pandora’s great, it’s a great website. And -
YOUNG MAN: Do you know LimeWire?
YOUNG MAN: I do know LimeWire. YOUNG MAN: It’s a very good downloading site.
[YOUNG MAN LAUGHS]
RICK KARR: This week we asked some kids outside a high school in Lower Manhattan what albums they're listening to and how they got them. This is a very unscientific sample, for sure, but just for the record, many said that in the world of iPods, downloading and streaming music, whether you’re doing it legally over a service like Pandora or illegally, using something like LimeWire, has become a necessity.
NATE: I'm Nate, I’m 17 years old. Right now the Jay-Z album, it’s pretty much what I've been listening to. [MUSIC - ”DEATH OF AUTOTUNE”] Of course, it got leaked, like every other album today, so I heard it, you know, a few weeks before it came out, and then I downloaded it, illegally, of course.
HARRY: My name is Harry, I’m 17. I don't think it’s wrong to stream music free, like to listen to a song on YouTube. To have access to music for free I think is great, because people should hear as much music as they can. It’s important. It’s cultural. But there’s a difference between that and downloading music that you then own. It’s someone’s creative property. That really does take money out of their pocket.
BLAKELY: My name is Blakley, I'm 17, and I listen to a lot of hip-hop, R&B and dancehall. I really like Beyonce’s album, I Am…Sasha Fierce.
[MUSIC - ”SINGLE LADIES” UP AND UNDER] I don't have the album, but I have – well, I have the LimeWire version [LAUGHS] of the album. Yeah, I sometimes think about it, like, the artist is getting gypped. They're really not getting the money for their song. But it’s more convenient to get it off of LimeWire.
VINNIE: My name is Vinnie. I'm 15. Right now I listen to a lot of Pink Floyd, The Wall, Dark Side of the Moon. Those are the - I guess, the two biggest songs.
[MUSIC - ”MONEY” UP AND UNDER] A lot of people say, you know, I'm never going to get caught. Someone told me the way they catch these people who are downloading, you know, songs off of illegal sites is they pick completely randomly, and one song can lead up to like millions of dollars of fines. I guess it’s not worth it. And most of the music being made by the artists, I guess I kind of want to support the artists, so why not buy it, yeah.
LORIANNE: My name’s Lorianne, I'm 17 years old, and I listen to dancehall and reggae. I used to buy CDs but I don't anymore. I like Sean Paul’s new album with So Fine on it.
[SEAN PAUL SINGING “SO FINE”/UP AND UNDER]] How did I get the album? Off LimeWire, [LAUGHS] but I just haven't gotten caught yet, I guess. [LAUGHS]