Appearing to validate claims by operators of file-sharing sites that movie and record piracy have little or no negative effect on sales, a study by British media regulator OFCOM has noted that while the estimated number of downloaded tracks in the U.K. dropped to 199 million during the past year from 301 million the previous year, overall record sales also continued to drop. Sales during the past year fell to $1.33 billion from $1.41 billion in 2011 when the piracy rate was more than a third higher. Reporting the result of the OFCOM study, TorrentFreak.com, which tracks BitTorrent usage, commented: Previously, when music piracy increased various industry groups pointed out that there was a direct correlation with the decline in sales. This argument will be much harder to make now. There is no comparable study currently available regarding unauthorized downloads of motion pictures, but previous studies have indicated that the most zealous movie pirates are often the most habitual cinema-goers. In its study OFCOM found that those who consumed music legally and illegally spent an average of =A395.31 on it during the past year, while those who consumed music only legally spent =A341.40.
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