More than two-thirds of respondents in an Internet survey say that they are "unlikely" to pay to download music.
The survey, by UK newspaper The Guardian and market research company HI Europe, found that over a third of respondents currently download music, with the majority of these downloading up to five tracks a week.
The last year has seen an increase in music downloading: 20 per cent of online users claim they buy more digital music now than they did a year ago. Over 50 per cent of respondents only started downloading music in the last two years.
According to the survey, those who are downloading more material than they were 12 months ago are doing so because of improvements in speed – which points to future growth in the area as more and more people get broadband, suggests the Guardian.
Another reason for increased downloading is likely to be the increased awareness of the availability of music to download from sites such as Apple's iTunes.
Those who download tend to do so via their PC – 93 per cent – with others using mobile phones and hand-held computers. Over half (54 per cent) of downloaders say that downloading and file sharing have broadened their music tastes.
Of those who are not downloading music, 62 per cent claim they are not interested in starting. Reasons cited for not downloading were speed, legal issues, and technical problems.
Despite their mixed downloading habits, 60 per cent of respondents accused the music industry of concentrating too much on lining its own pockets.