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Surprise surprise! The most pirated artist in the European Union in 2018 was… the most popular artist in the European Union in 2018: Ed Sheeran.

A new report from the EU’s Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has explored the most pirated creative works in film, music and TV across its member states, although the nature of such research means the data is from 2018 rather than bang up to date.

For music, the report estimates that Sheeran alone “suffered 7.5 million illegal downloads” in 2018. It’s a choice of words that highlights how piracy isn’t the existential threat it once was for the music industry – because it’s hard to think that Ed Sheeran was sitting around suffering in 2018, thanks to his income from legal music services (not to mention concerts).

Image by Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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