Concern for the musical life of the next generation of sexually frustrated 17 year olds

Sharkey w/ The Undertones - Teenage Kicks

Three decades after cassette decks first allowed people to make free music tapes for friends, a study by the industry group British Music Rights suggests home copying remains just as ingrained in UK culture.

BMR's chief executive, the singer Feargal Sharkey, said the research underlines the urgent need to adapt to consumers' attitudes or face serious repercussions for the next generation of musicians.

Overall, 95% of the 1,158 people surveyed had engaged in some form of copying, including taking the music contents of a friend's hard drive - 58% - and the more old-fashioned method of recording from the radio.

BMR, which lobbies on behalf of composers, songwriters and music publishers, claims its research is the first academic study of its kind, and fills a hole in the industry's understanding of how people consume music.

Former Undertones frontman Sharkey said the aim was not to lambast young music consumers but to create business models that fit their behaviour and tap into the unrelenting demand for music. He hopes the findings will provide impetus for change.

"For somebody who has spent 30 years in the music industry, you instinctively know this stuff is going on. But when you actually sit looking at your computer and see a number that says 95% of people are copying music at home, you suddenly go, 'Bloody hell'," he said.

"Ultimately it has to get better ... At some point musicians and songwriters have to make enough money out of it otherwise they stop doing it," he said.

"My concern is for the next generation of sexually frustrated, hormone-ridden 17-year-olds that are sitting in a bedroom about to possibly, and I hope, write something like Teenage Kicks," he said, referring to the Undertones song the late DJ John Peel made his anthem.

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