Survey Say Streaming Music Cutting Piracy

UK Music fans are turning their backs file-sharing in favor of streaming and other ways of sharing music, especially amongst teens, according to the latest survey by The Leading Question and Music Ally of 1000 music fans:

  • Pirate The overall percentage of music fans file-sharing every month) has gone down since the last survey from 22% December 2007 to 17% in January 2009.
  • The biggest drop in those regularly file-sharing occurred amongst 14-18 year olds. in December 2007 42% of 14-18s were file sharing at least once a month. In January 2009 this was down to just 26%.

All this is despite the fact that the percentage of music fans who have ever file-shared increased  from 28% in December 2007 to 31% in January 2009.

The move to streaming – e.g. YouTube, MySpace and Spotify – is clear with the research showing that many teens (65%) are streaming music regularly. Nearly twice as many 14-18s (31%) listen to streamed music on their computer every day compared to music fans overall (18%). More fans are regularly sharing burned CDs and bluetoothing tracks to each other than file-sharing tracks.

More UK music fans are also regularly buying single track downloads (19%) than file-sharing single tracks (17%) every month, though the percentage of fans sharing albums regularly (13%) remains higher than those purchasing digital albums (10%).

The Leading Question research also shows the comparative volume of pirated tracks to legally purchased tracks has halved since their last survey. In December 2007 the ratio of tracks obtained from file-sharing compared to tracks obtained as legal purchases on an ongoing basis was 4:1. In January 2009 the ratio had narrowed to just 2:1.

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  1. Isn’t it funny how just a couple years ago loading up the iPod with a ton of downloaded tracks seemed cutting edge? Now that we’ve all become more acustomed to high quality streaming (and its vast technological improvements over the past few years) it almost seems like the act of searching for and downloading a bunch of files to store on your harddrive is downright archaic. It was only yesterday when the popular sentiment was “people will always want to own their music – no exceptions”…now its not much of a stretch to see how cloud computing is the way things are headed, naturally.

  2. This seems like one of those “be careful what you wish for…” moments. There were worries about how downloading made music disposable… streaming becomes even more disposable, with the music vaporizing the moment it is heard. I’m not sure where there’s a significant revenue stream in that, unless one thinks there’s a Basic Cable TV model out there in the midst of the advertising collapse.
    And, this is reported as movement in a very young age group, 14-18. So the next generation is going to view music as a totally transitory experience?
    Also buried in the reporting above is Sneakernet activity, which is still file-sharing even if it doesn’t involve the Internet. Maybe the kids are just practicing risk avoidance.

  3. i don’t doubt these stats one bit. i think the constant worries that surrounded “illegal” downloading coupled with the improving quality of streams & the wealth of sources to get them from has improved dramatically in the last two years.

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