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UK study tracks latest piracy and digital content habits


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The UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has been tracking online piracy and attitudes towards digital content for years now, with the eighth ‘wave’ of its study published yesterday.

It has some encouraging signs for the creative industries, particularly around the habits of 16-24 year-olds. Their ‘infringement levels’ have dropped by seven percentage points since 2015, meaning that in 2018, 25% of this age group admit to piratical behaviour.

Now the bad news: according to the tracker survey – carried out by research firm Kantar – more Brits are pirating music in 2018 than in 2017 – 19% across all age groups compared to 18% a year ago. Although this is in the context of a drop from 24% in 2015.

The survey suggests that music is the most-consumed content type: around 507m tracks in the period covered by the study, of which around 30% were paid for, and 31% were accessed illegally.

The study also provides some updated stats on the UK penetration of various digital services. YouTube has been used in the last three months by 54% of people surveyed for the tracker, Spotify by 27%, Apple Music by 12%, and Amazon Music by 10%.

Stuart Dredge

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