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YouGov study claims fewer Brits are pirating music


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Market-research firm YouGov has put out some new figures on online piracy in the UK, claiming that there is good news for the music industry.

“The number of Britons that are illegally downloading music is decreasing… YouGov’s Music Report reveals that one in ten Britons (10%) download music illegally, down from 18% five years ago,” claimed the company yesterday.

“This number looks set to decrease. While 63% of those that illegally download music expect to still be doing so in five years, 22% do not. Added to this, 36% say that using unverified sources to access music is becoming more difficult.”

The report went on to note that of the Brits who’ve stopped illegally downloading, 63% said they now use streaming services: so another feather in the cap of Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube and others, it seems.

Not everybody agrees with the data, mind. Anti-piracy firm Muso quickly got its response out yesterday, claiming that its own figures contradict the thrust of YouGov’s report.

“Muso’s data shows that demand for streaming music piracy in the UK is increasing considerably, rising over 21 per cent through 2017,” said its chief strategy officer Christopher Elkins. “The YouGov survey indicates more people opting to use streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, but, conversely, our data highlights that there is still a large audience in the UK choosing to use piracy streaming platforms.”

The comparison here isn’t quite a direct one though: YouGov focused on the number of pirates, while Muso’s annual report focuses on visits to piracy sites.

Stuart Dredge

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