It seems that less and less people are getting their music the old-fashioned way, by stealing it. The NPD Group’s new “Annual Music Study 2012″ shows that the number of illegally downloaded music files dropped by 26% in 2012, and 40% of those surveyed admitted that they had illegally downloaded music in 2011, but claimed they had not done so in 2012.
So what’s responsible for this massive reduction in piracy? According to the survey, it’s not stepped-up enforcement – it’s the availability of free music via streaming services like Spotify. Nearly half of the people who had stopped or sharply reduced their music downloading cited those services as the reason for stopping.
“Among other factors, the increased use of legal and licensed streaming services has proven to be an alternative for music fans who formerly used P2P networks to obtain music,” said NPD senior vice president Russ Crupnick in a press release.
Revenues for digital music rose 9% to $5.6 billion in 2012, the industry as a whole posted $16.5 billion in revenue. Apple’s iTunes is the leader in most countries, followed by Spotify.
44% of all respondents say they had stopped ripping CDs from friends and family, has easier access to on-demand music also caused that number to drop?
Another major factor is availability, 20% of users said they had stopped downloading illegal music either because their favorite source had been shut down, or that the sites that are available are filled with viruses and spyware.
As more streaming sources become available, and music is made more widely available, it’s likely the piracy rates will continue to drop. This could possibly be the case for video piracy too.
How about you reader? Have you started using more streaming and legal downloading services for your music? Have you cut down on your pirating ways? Let us know in the comments section below.