Festivals cause increase in online music piracy, says new research

Spotify has found that illegal torrents increase immediately after performances at some events in The Netherlands

Festivals cause an increase in online music piracy, according to new research from The Netherlands.

The report, ‘Adventures in the Netherlands’ was published by Spotify and cites examples of illegal torrents spiking immediately after festival performances. The report states “Explanations for these spikes merits further study, but one intuitive driver is instant gratification. Academics and policy makers who are researching this topic may want to consider other events such as awards and talent shows to see if similar spikes occur.”

Will Page, Spotify’s Director of Economics commented: ‘Adventures in the Netherlands saw some unusual evidence of torrents spiking immediately after festival performances in the Netherlands, when studying the case of two specific mid-size bands. This Dutch activity was all the more surprising given that it is in direct contrast with the trends we see in the Nordics and other markets, where we regular see dramatic spikes in streams on Spotify following festival and gig performances.”

Spotify also found that artists who delay releasing their music on streaming sites are more likely to find their music pirated than those who stream their music at the same time that it goes on sale. They did not find that delaying releases onto streaming sites resulted in huge physical sales.