Music Industry

Published on June 4th, 2019 | by Alan Cross


Music piracy: Amazingly, it’s not only still a problem but on the rise.

It looked for a while that streaming was on its way to obliterating the desire to pirate music. Why would you go through all the trouble when you can access more than 50 million complete, virus-free songs for almost nothing?

Yet music piracy not only continues, it’s on the rise.

According to a new study by marketing research company MusicWatch, music piracy–most notably in the form of stream-ripping audio from YouTube videos–is on the rise. The company says they tracked 17 million users doing this, which is up from 15 million in 2017.

Here are some highlights:

  • The top 30% of those who rip music from streams downloaded an average of 112 songs.
  • 68% of American stream-rippers are between 13 and 34 with a 56-44 male/female split.
  • Only 34% are students, pointing to the fact that the majority of rippers are people with jobs are too cheap to subscribe to a streaming service.
  • Why bother? The most popular answer was that rippers didn’t want to pay the $10 a month for a streaming service.
  • Strangely, most of these pirates come from higher-income households and tend to be better educated.
  • 35% say that anything they want is on YouTube, so why not just take it from there?
  • 25% say they used Google to find the software they needed to rip streams.\
  • Stream-rippers are also prone to stealing movies, TV shows and other kinds of intellectual property.

Read more at Digital Music News.

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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

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