A survey by the music lobby group British Music Rights shows that 95 per cent of teenagers and young people copy music in some way, with half the average 1770 tracks on an MP3 player being stolen.

The researchers found that 58 per cent of those surveyed have copied music from a friend’s hard drive to their own, 63 per cent download music using P2P file sharing networks, and 42 per cent allow P2P users to upload from their own computers.

However, 60 per cent of respondents said they would carry on buying CDs, and the survey states that 80 per cent of current P2P users would be interested in a legal file-sharing service, and would even be willing to pay for it.

Teenage kicks

Feargal Sharkey, BMR’s chief executive and ex-lead singer of punk band The Undertones, said: “The music industry should draw great optimism from this groundbreaking survey. First and foremost, it is quite clear that this young and tech-savvy demographic is as crazy about and engaged with music as any previous generation.

“Contrary to popular belief, they are also prepared to pay for it too. But only if offered the services they want,” he added.

TechRadar has contacted the British Phonographic Industry for comment, and is currently awaiting a response.