Music Industry

Amazingly, people are still stealing music. Then again, maybe this isn’t so amazing.

A new global music consumption by the International Federation of Phonographic Industry (the IFPI) says that 38% of online music consumers still insist on stealing music.

On one hand, this stat surprised. On another, though, it didn’t.

You’d think that with the growing ubiquity of music streaming services (especially Spotify) that piracy would be on a big decline. After all, the free tier of Spotify gives you access to about 45 million songs at zero charge. Yes, you have to listen to a few ads, but so what? Streaming is just too convenient, too high-quality, too risk-free, too…free not to be your first choice.

But then again, the free tier doesn’t allow you to store music on your device for offline listening. That turns out to be the primary reason people go through the hassle of stealing. You still have to pay for data, of course. And some of the people in this survey (it included adults 18-64 in 18 countries, including places like Brazil) don’t have access to credit cards, which makes it impossible for them to sign up to a premium streaming service. (China and India were also surveyed, but those stats were not included in the global numbers.)

All this adds up to a barrier–or a weak justification–for some people.

Where’s the illegal music coming from? Stream-ripping, the process of finding the songs you want on YouTube or wherever and then use software to capture the audio as an MP3. You then have the music file to do what you wish with it. Some 32% of people in the survey get their illegal music this way.

Another 23% use cyberlockers or P2P sites. Search engines that turn up files for the taking account for another 17% of theft.

Don’t steal music. It’s wrong and artists are making a pittance already.

More at Rolling Stone.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38398 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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