Wait: I Thought Music Piracy Was Going DOWN. It’s Not, Huh?

For the past couple of years, we’ve been told that easy-to-use download stores (cf. iTunes, mainly) and streaming music services were making music piracy a thing of the past. Hell, I’m of the belief that if you’re still stealing music, you’re an idiot. Why go through all that trouble when you have 35 million-plus songs available for free through services like Spotify?

However, according to a new record (via MBW), global music piracy was actually up by 20% in 2015. WTF?

The amount of music downloaded on illegal piracy sites grew by 16.5% in the second half of 2015 compared to the year’s opening six months.

That’s according to leading content protection and market analytics company MUSO, which tracked web activity on 576 sites which were ‘wholly dedicated to music piracy or contained significant music content’.

Across these sites, MUSO analysed over 2 billion visitor traffic hits globally.

The research, exclusively provided to MBW, comes from MUSO’s ‘2015 Global Music Piracy Insights’ Study

Interestingly, the company found that music was particularly hit hard: the amount of online visitor traffic across piracy-enabling torrent sites covering all media typesdropped by 20% throughout the course of 2015.

For this stat, MUSO studied 840 different torrent sites and alias proxies, which attracted over 10 billion visitor traffic hits in the year.

The company also tracked illegal music streaming sites, concluding that activity here was flat in 2015. The worst culprit in this category was the Russian Federation – the world’s number one user of web streaming sites.

The US was found to be No.1 in the list of countries by visitor traffic using piracy torrent sites of all types.

However, looking at music downloads specifically, the US was No.3, with Germany at No.4 and the UK at No.13.

Keep reading here.

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.

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