Reading an article on the topic on Ars made me think. The graphs there show that the overwhelming percentage of music pirates are teens—which can be either because they are the new generation that grew up on the net, or because they don’t have enough money to buy all the music they want. Yet.
More or less still kids i guess at first they just start downloading music because they can and they will of course try it, since it’s free, and it gets you good music. It’s obvious that free samples to good to sales: all online music stores have previews. Just consider teen piracy as a preview. They get what they want, check it out, love it or hate it, and probably when they have money they’ll go to the live performances of the artists, and buy the albums. Usually first the lives, and then the records: it takes a lot more enthusiasm (and/or maturity) to give out money for something you already have, but as for me, i consider downloaded music something bought but not yet paid.
Just as how i’ll start collecting books on the grand scale once i have a place to put them and the money to buy them, i will start collecting music just the same fashion. (Actually i already started with music since that takes up much less space. I’m expecting a cd tomorrow from CDJapan.)