Music piracy grew in 2017 and is now “more popular than ever”

14.7% growth in music-based piracy last year

A new report has found that music piracy grew in 2017 and that, despite the prevalence of streaming services, piracy remains “more popular than ever”.

According to the annual Global Piracy Report from piracy data tracker MUSO, music piracy grew 14.7% from the year prior in 2017, with 73.9 billion visits to music piracy sites made worldwide.

30.5 billion visits were made to web streaming sites, 21.2 billion visits to web download sites,15.7 billion to streaming ripping sites, 6 billion to public torrent sites and 500 million to private torrent sites.


The report found that music piracy is the second most popular form of piracy, behind television and ahead of film.

Music piracy was most common in the US, with 27.9 billion visits to illegal music sites, followed by Russia (20.6 billion), India (17 billion), Brazil (12.7 billion) and Turkey (11.9 billion).

“There is a belief that the rise in popularity of on-demand services such as Netflix and Spotify have solved piracy, but that theory simply doesn’t stack up,” MUSO co-founder/CEO Andy Chatterly said in a statement. “Our data suggests that piracy is more popular than ever.”

However, the report also found that visits to stream ripping sites dropped 33.86% in the final six months of 2017. This is attributed to popular ripping site YouTube.mp3 shutting down in September.

“The piracy audience is huge and yet for the most part, it’s an opportunity that’s completely ignored,” Chatterly added. “It’s important that the content industries embrace the trends emerging from this data, not only in strategic content protection, but also in understanding the profile of the piracy consumer for better business insight and monetising these audiences.”

In 2016, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hit out at music piracy, promising to “democratise the internet”.


“Downloading music for free sounds fine,” Corbyn said. “But this means musicians do not get paid. That is why digital rights are so important.”

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