The Battle Against Piracy Continues…


A fresh study into piracy by Musicmetric’s Digital Music Index has looked into the extent of illegal file-sharing across the U.K. It doesn’t read too well for those on the front line of battling piracy! While everybody in the industry has their own opinion on how to ‘fix’ this issue, it still rages on. One thing we do know is there isn’t a magic solution that we can implement to make it all disappear.

The study observed the extent of illegal file-sharing across the U.K. and the rest of the world in the first 6 months of the year. The research covers music file-sharing patterns via BitTorrent. The U.K. comes second in the worldwide chart of BitTorrent downloads with 43,263,582 downloads, second to the U.S. which had 96,681,133. The chart below puts these numbers in relation to country population.

Country Name Total Downloads Approx. Songs Country Population
1 United States 96,681,133 775,382,687 313,232,044
2 United Kingdom 43,263,582 346,973,928 62,698,362
3 Italy 33,158,943 265,934,723 61,016,804
4 Canada 23,959,924 192,158,590 34,030,586
5 Brazil 19,724,522 158,190,666 194,037,075
6 Australia 19,232,252 154,242,661 21,766,711
7 Spain 10,303,633 82,635,137 46,754,784
8 India 8,964,360 71,894,167 1,189,172,906
9 France 8,398,550 67,356,371 65,102,719
10 Philippines 8,380,208 67,209,268 101,833,938

Breaking down the U.K. further, here are the top 10 cities for piracy in the same time period arranged per capita:

City Downloads over 6 month period
London 4,565,502
Manchester 1,317,012
Nottingham 598,621
Southampton 480,151
Liverpool 927,535
Sheffield 748,301
Leicester 487,406
Stoke-on-trent 380,872
Glasgow 1,037,934
Cardiff 348,603

It’s clear people still very much like to consume music but their consumption of music is drastically changing, and so is the mindset of a music consumer. I believe our job working on the forefront of the digital music world is to continue be inventive in the way we monetize music. Being static to the changing world around us and complaining about it isn’t going to change the situation. Fighting piracy is of course a must and the people doing such a thing do a vital job. But being creative and driving the industry forward shouldn’t be overlooked. We need to engage the people who pirate music not just fight them.

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