No sex, please – we're downloading

Tssk, young people today: they're only interested in one thing.


Yes, in the week the tabloids have been full of schoolgirl pregnancy, teenage paternity claims and everyday stories of Alfie, Chantelle, Maisie and Max Clifford, a new survey reveals that most teenagers would rather go without sex for a week than be deprived of their music.

According to the research, commissioned by Marrakesh Records, home of The Killers, 60% of 16-to-24-year-olds would rather go without sex, not music, for a week.

And that figure rises to 70% for 16-to-19-year-olds, which may be a shock revelation.

Or may just indicate that the under-20s have less opportunity.

However, Marrakesh has more ominous news up its sleeve. "We apologise in advance," it says. "These results may stir unease.

"Anyone within the music industry has good reason to be concerned with our findings."

And what, pray, is set to turn the music industry into a gibbering, hand-wringing mess?

Well, the survey says that " 70% of those who expressed a view do not feel guilty about downloading music for free from the internet."

Sharp intake of breath.

"61% of the age group do not feel they should have to pay for the music they listen to. This is more marked amongst 15-19 year olds, of whom 69% do not feel they should have to pay."


"On average 43% of the music owned and enjoyed by the age group has not been paid for. This increases to 49% for 15-19 year olds."

Cue industry-wide howling, wailing and self-flagellation...

But hang on a minute. Don't we all know that just about everyone downloads music illegally, however much they're told it's theft?

Is it any real surprise that younger downloaders, who presumably have less money, feel less worried about not paying for their music?

And as for almost half of teenage collections being blagged off the internet or ripped from friends' music, there's only one sensible reaction to that.

49%? Is that all...?

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.