The music industry may face future crisis as young music lovers spurn legal services in favour of file-sharing, new research warns.

A report - European Music Consumer Survey - from Jupiter Research analyst Mark Mulligan offers this stark warning. It reveals that three times as many consumers use illegal file-sharing networks than use legitimate services.

However, there is some hope - 10 per cent of European music fans are willing to pay for music online, with 31 per cent of Swedish band lovers choosing to use legitimate services.

But the real problem is among the non credit card-holding youth, 34 per cent of 15-24-year olds use file-sharing services, and this is "impacting the way they value music with many having little concept of music as a paid commodity," the report warns.

CDs? Not for the youth market

The youth market sees CDs as irrelevant, not good value for money and prefers to copy rather than buy CDs.

"Unless these consumers are encouraged to develop music purchasing behaviour soon they may never develop meaningful music buying habits," Jupiter Research warns.

The threat is that as today's heavy music consumers leave the market, new music lovers wont step into the space.

"When these consumers age and increase spending power they should become key music buying consumers," said Mulligan.

"Unless the music industry can transition these consumers while they are young away from free consumption to paid music formats, be they digital or CDs, they may never develop music purchasing behaviour and the recording industry could suffer long-term harm," he warned.