More than a third (38%) of consumers access music by infringing copyright, according to new research by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).
The annual “Music Consumer Insight Report”, which looked into the way that music is consumed by those aged 16 to 64, was released yesterday, October 9.
IFPI, an association which represents the interests of those in the recording industry, said that music companies have licensed more than 45 million tracks to hundreds of providers worldwide.
However, consumers are still opting to obtain content illegally, and the prevalence of torrent sites and cyberlockers makes stream-ripping the biggest threat to the music industry, the report said.
Stream-rippers use tools to download music and make it available offline, rather than users having to stream content which is interspersed with advertisements, whereas cyberlockers such as BitTorrent offer file-storing and file-sharing services for content.
IFPI’s research indicated that stream-ripping is the favourite method of obtaining music illegally online, with 32% of consumers downloading music via this method.
Stream-rippers allow consumers to listen to music offline, rather than rely on and pay for internet-based streaming services, the report noted.
Cyberlocker sites and file-sharing platforms are used by 23% of consumers to obtain illicit music, IFPI said. The research also found that 17% of consumers make use of a search engine to locate infringing content.
The report added that user-upload sites, such as YouTube, “are not returning fair value to the music community”.
More than a third (35%) of consumers claimed that the main reason for not subscribing to a paid music service is because “anything they want to listen to” is already on YouTube, adding to the so-called value gap, IFPI said.
The value gap is the mismatch between the value that online user-upload content platforms extract from creative content and the revenue returned to the creative community.
Last week, another report suggested that the volume of legitimate streaming services available to consumers may be contributing to an increase in TV and film piracy.
Networking equipment company Sandvine said that to subscribe to multiple content services is expensive for consumers, leading them to sign up for one or two services and opt to access content provided by other platforms via piracy sites instead.
Copyright infringement, music streaming, consumers, torrent, file sharing, YouTube, cyberlocker, stream-ripping, piracy, value gap