The past week had a huge impact on young, media-savvy Millennials, because of the war waging among Internet sites and the federal government. First, young people banded together with websites to stop the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, and succeeded in at least postponing the Congressional votes on the bills. On the heels of celebrating a victory over Internet censorship, they saw Megaupload, a file hosting/sharing platform, get shut down and its operators charged and jailed.
Why does it matter to Millennials? They live their lives online, and file sharing has become a significant part of that — cyber lockers are as much a way for them to give a “mix tape” to a friend who lives overseas as they are a means to share work files with colleagues.
We’re not naïve though. Most Millennials are Internet pirates and use such sites to obtain music without paying. (For the purpose of this post, we’ll focus only on the music industry — movies and TV have their own separate issues.) Ypulse and other researchers have confirmed that most young adults have indeed pilfered music from the Web… But this isn’t a fight against intellectual property and copyright; in fact, more are paying for music than stealing it. So if they’re willing to pay, why are they stealing? In short, it’s in their DNA.
Aside from the fact that students are perpetually broke, Millennials want to try before they buy, whether that means listening to music before buying the album, getting their hands on a tech device before they make the investment, trying out power tools in store before bringing them home, or using a trial membership before signing a contract with a gym. They want to know, beyond a doubt, that they’re going to like what they’re getting. Particularly since the recession, they know that every dollar…