According to a new study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, online music downloads have gone down, down, down to a burning ring of fire over the past six months. In May, 29 percent of adults said they downloaded music (legally or illegally), a figure that stood at 14 percent in December.
The study doesn't differentiate between legal and illegal downloads but its authors suggest that record-industry lawsuits aimed at illegal downloaders and other measures account for a good chunk of the drop-off, even as legal services ranging from ITunes to Napster got up and running.
Here's an account of the study (which I haven't read) in the Dallas Morning News(reg. required).
Whatever else is going on, one thing is clear: the amount of downloads at sites such as Kazaa still dwarfs the number at the licensed sites.