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Nick C-End comment-
(2013-05-10 10:53:30 am)
I'm guessing that a lot of the people who use this site (probably not the person you replied to) do so in order to sample music. We just don't sample music sitting at our computer. I listen almost exclusively in my car and don't have a phone data plan to visit yourband.bandcamp.com in my car. I don't have any other way of hearing your music to know if I like it. Buying music before you have heard of it is pretty risky. Especially if you have never heard the band at all...hence bandcamp allowing you to stream music for free.
Obviously, some people could be using this as a substitute for buying. Those people, I do not defend. As with software piracy, I tend to think that many people who get it for free are not really potential legitimate customers. Sure, it is not fair that they do it, but would they purchase it if they couldn't get it for free -- I think not. Thus, I don't think, for those people, a free download does not equate to a lost sale.
Of course, my logic is not backed by adequate research and many reasonable people could disagree. I'd like to see some good research on the subject, but it is so hard to perform and quantify. I'm going to add a survey on this site soon (as I will be taking it off-line) and am curious as to what the results will be. I hope many participate.
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