Revealed: the most illegally downloaded album in the UK

It seems Ed Sheeran, Rihanna, Olly Murs and Jessie J are popular with illegal downloaders

Photo: PA
Ed Sheeran's '+' has been revealed to be the most illegally downloaded album of 2012.

According to a new study by MusicMetric, the singer-songwriter's debut album has been pirated more times than anything else this year, with over 55,000 copies illegally downloaded in every single month of this year.

Rizzle Kicks' debut effort 'Stereo Typical' came in second, with Rihanna's 'Talk That Talk' in third, Jessie J's 'Who You Are' in fourth and Olly Murs in fifth with 'In Case You Didn't Know'.

Emeli Sande's 'Our Version Of Events', which is the biggest selling album of 2012 in the UK, is in sixth, with Ben Howard, Chase And Status, Chris Brown and Gotye taking the other spots in the Top 10.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Drake, Snow Patrol and Florence And The Machine all feature in the Top 20.

Manchester topped the poll for the most amount of illegal downloads per city or town, with almost 400,000 items downloaded per month. This meant it came out first ahead of Nottingham, Southampton, Liverpool and Sheffield.

MusicMetric monitors the global activity of BitTorrent files and discovered that during the first half of 2012, 43 million albums and singles were illegally downloaded in the UK.

This means the UK is the second largest illegal downloader in the world. USA came in first with 96,681,133 illegal music downloads for the same period.

The Top 10 most pirated albums in the UK in 2012 so far are as follows:

1. Ed Sheeran - '+'
2. Rizzle Kicks - 'Stereo Typical'
3. Rihanna - 'Talk That Talk'
4. Jessie J - 'Who You Are'
5. Olly Murs - 'In Case You Didn't Know'
6. Emeli Sande - 'Our Version Of Events'
7. Ben Howard - 'Every Kingdom'
8. Chase & Status - 'No More Idols'
9. Chris Brown - 'FAME'
10. Gotye - 'Making Mirrors'
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