Bruno Mars and Rihanna most pirated artists of 2013

Singers both illegally downloaded more than five million times this year

Bruno Mars and Rihanna most pirated artists of 2013

Photo: Rihanna/Instagram

Bruno Mars and Rihanna were 2013's most-pirated artists, according to new analysis of peer-to-peer file sharing.

Using data from Bit Torrent, the most popular method of illegally pirating music, industry analysts Musicmetric showed both singers were downloaded more than five million times during the past 12 months, beating Daft Punk and Justin Timberlake, who were both illegally downloaded around four million times since January this year. Neither Bruno Mars or Rihanna released an album this year, however, with their respective albums 'Unorthodox Jukebox' and 'Unapologetic' both released during the final months of 2012.

The survey also said the 20 most-pirated artists were downloaded 64.5m times via BitTorrent throughout 2013. As reported earlier this week, Beyonce lost almost $4million worth of sales through pirating with more than 240,000 illegal downloads of her current self-titled album in the first 10 days of its release, putting her firmly in the Top 20 of Musicmetric's survey. Despite this, she still managed to break iTunes sales records with her fifth album, although her back catalogue saw an increase in illegal downloads during the same period.

Other albums have been pirated faster than Beyonce's, however. Last year Taylor Swift's 'Red' was downloaded 270,000 times in its first 10 days, while Justin Timberlake's '20/20', released in March, which was pirated 336,000 times.

Gregory Mead, the chief executive of Musicmetric's owner Semetric, said that while legal sales are in decline, illegal downloads, coupled with numbers of social media fans and engagement, provide alternative methods of measuring an artist's popularity.

He said: "Of course we don’t condone piracy, but what is clear is that Bit Torrent data offers a granular insight into a band’s fan engagement. You can see where people live and if you know where your fans are, you can plan a tour and engage with them. Back in the day, people went into record shops to try records before they bought them – nowadays, they download or stream a track and then perhaps buy a download or a gig ticket."

Read More On This Artist

Buy music from Rihanna at iTunes
More News
Former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way announces UK tour
Today's new album releases: Alt-J, Aphex Twin and more
Members of Arcade Fire, The Strokes and Bon Iver cover Phil Collins and White Stripes – watch
Gwar's Jizmak Da Gusha: 'I was going to kill Dave Grohl until he said something nice...
Statue of Eleanor Rigby made from more than £1m in used banknotes on display in Liverpool
The Script score third Official Albums Chart Number One with 'No Sound Without Silence'
Jake Bugg: 'Manufactured pop bands don't have any soul'
Lauryn Hill's London comeback show subject to harsh Twitter criticism
Tatu's Lena Katina responds to bandmate's homophobia: 'People should be free to...
Producer Tony Visconti says he was misquoted over 'new David Bowie album' comment
La Roux: 'I've never made any money from record sales'
Kendrick Lamar downplays guest appearances on new album
Jamie T: 'Damon Albarn told me to write from the heart'
Stevie Nicks unveils title track from '24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault' - listen
Kanye West shares photos from his community service fashion class
Will Ferrell and Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith cover The Rolling Stones - watch
Foo Fighters announce January 2015 live dates
Johnny Flynn stars in new trailer for Channel 4 sitcom 'Scrotal Recall' - watch
Bishop Nehru and Doom preview NehruvianDOOM album with new track 'Caskets' – listen
Matt Bellamy hints at World War 3 theme and guitar solos for new Muse album
SBTRKT previews new album 'Wonder Where We Land' at iTunes Festival in London
Iceage reveal new song 'How Many' - listen

More News


Please login to add your comment.

Featured Videos
Latest Tickets - Booking Now
Know Your NME

NME Store & Framed Prints
Most Read News
Popular This Week
Inside NME.COM
On NME.COM Today