Vancouver, BC – The online music downloading behaviour of Canadian
teens suggests that a combination of stricter policies and a greater appreciation of copyright is
having an impact on how and where teens access their music. According to a recent issue of
the Ipsos Canadian Inter@ctive Reid Report, Canadian teens aged 12-17 years old are
increasingly choosing to pay for music downloads, while fewer are "pirating" music for free.
Results of the study show that 76% of Canadian teens have used a fee-based website,
such as iTunes, to download music. This is significantly greater than the 52% who
downloaded paid music back in 2009. At the same time, far fewer teens are downloading
music for free. Four in ten (40%) have used peer-to-peer service websites, such as torrent
sites, to download music files for free, which is a significant decrease compared to the 74%
who downloaded music for free in 2009.
"Legal takedowns of popular peer-to-peer sites in the past few years has made it
increasingly complicated for all but the most tech savvy to download free music content, which
may be the cause for this shift in behaviour," says Catherine Dawson, Senior Vice President
with Ipsos Reid in Vancouver. "The use of torrent websites is not easily understood by many
users and may be leading teens to paid download sources that are quick, simple and
When asked about their feelings towards downloading music through peer-to-peer
services, one in five teens (21%) indicate they feel guilty about it, while a greater proportion
(35%) don't; the largest group (44%) feel neutral on the matter. This ambiguity is likely the
result of uncertainty about the current laws around downloading copyrighted content in
Canada. In a related question, fully half (52%) of teens are unsure how they feel about the
current laws, while one third (34%) believe the laws are fair. Only 14% feel the laws are unfair.
"Given the current debate over Bill C-11 in Canada close on the heels of the SOPA/PIPA
debate in the U.S., the increases we are seeing in paid downloads among the teen population
is particularly interesting," adds Dawson.
This release is based on the findings of an Ipsos Reid syndicated study, The Ipsos
Canadian Inter@ctive Reid Report, fielded December 14th to 20th, 2011 and released in
2011-Issue 5. This online survey of 416 Canadian teens aged 12-17 years old was conducted
via the Ipsos Online Panel. The results are based on a sample where quota sampling and
weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition
reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data. Quota samples with
weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a
probability sample. An unweighted probability sample of this size, with a 100% response rate,
would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 4.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
For more information on the Ipsos Canadian Inter@ctive Reid Report, please visit
For more information on this news release, please contact:
Senior Vice President
About Ipsos Reid
Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public
opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With
operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and
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country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's
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