Digital Music

Bad News For Spotify: No Illegal Download Drop

image from farm1.static.flickr.com Perhaps the most persuasive argument for labels and artists taking smaller payments from Spotify and other ad supported music services, was the belief that it was a substitute for illegal downloading. But a new study suggests that might not be the case.

A survey by The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) showed that 1 in 3 people are using illegal sites. More than 3,000 consumers between 16 to 54 years old took part in the online poll.  When questioned about the future, users of unauthoriazed services reported that they actually intended to increase their illegal activities in the next 6 months. Use of newer web-based, or non-peer-to-peer sites, has grown in the last half year; while torrent site traffic remains level.

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7 Comments

  1. Polling 3,000 plus consumers on piratebay does not make for a meaningful survey. It would be better to poll users of these legal music sites to find out if they stopped downloading illegally or if they continued to download illegally.

  2. those stats could also be read as “spotify and streaming services prevent increase in illegal downloads”. but as per normal “the industry” prefers to cower in the corner and point at the bad guy.

  3. Kris,
    No they couldn’t! The article CLEARLY states that illegal downloading increased.
    “The survey showed an increase in the use of web-based, or non-peer-to-peer methods, during the last six months. Filesharing through methods like BitTorrent remained level.”

  4. The shift to web/forum based piracy is actually a good sign for the industry. Sharing stuff through a download link on a vbulletin forum doesn’t scale like a tracker that efficiently indexes thousands of torrents. This has the effect of compartmentalizing piracy into a larger number of very small groups. While you obviously can’t snuff all of them out, it slows down the speed that a leak can disperse through peers. In a way, this is how piracy was prior to the original Napster.

  5. Rhetoric like “illegal sites” and “unauthorized services” spreads the false belief that these sites are somehow operating outside of the law, when it actually the users, not the sites themselves, that are partaking in illegal activity.

  6. Downloading music (specifically) is “legal” in Canada since we pay a “fee” on every blank CD or DVD which is collected and distributed accordingly. This is why our equivalent of the RIAA never sued anyone.
    However, hosting and allowing the files to be downloaded is not legal.
    Having stated this, I, personally have not downloaded anything for “free” for years. I either obtain what I want from iTunes or directly from the artist selling their music.
    The music industry continues to bite the hand that feeds it – not a wise idea since CD sales will continue to drop, and, although, MP3 downloads are the new standard, they are not the future. The music industry needs to focus on how to make the future viable through innovation – this is what Apple did at the end of the dot.com bust in the late ’90s – came out with the iPod & iTunes and haven’t looked back since. There’s a reason they bought a money losing company called La La!

  7. jlocke — Contributory Copyright Infringement. There have been 3 US Supreme Court rulings backing it up. Legally any music blog is in trouble if an artist or record label decides to make an example. Exact same thing as what happened to DJ Drama…some ppl saw it as great promotion, and some wanted to make an example

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