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The number of British people who are illegally downloading music has dropped from 18% to 10% in the last five years, according to new research.
Market research firm YouGov released its "Music Report" yesterday, August 2.
YouGov has predicted that the number will continue to decrease, as 22% of those surveyed for the report said that they do not expect to be illegally downloading music in five years.
However, nearly two thirds (63%) indicated that they are expecting to still be obtaining music illegally in five years.
Just under half of the participants (44%) who admitted to downloading music illegally said they only do so when they cannot access the music anywhere else. Over half (51%) of those surveyed said that it is frustrating when music is released exclusively through one platform.
The rise of streaming services may have contributed to the decrease in the number of people illegally downloading music in the UK. YouGov said that 63% of those who claimed to have stopped downloading music illegally now use streaming services instead.
One of the reasons given by participants was that it is easier to stream music than pirate it, and the cost is no longer prohibitive.
Another reason was the breadth of material available on streaming services: “Spotify has everything from new releases to old songs, it filled the vacuum, there was no longer a need for using unverified sources,” one person said.
YouGov explained that people do not need to go to the same lengths to acquire the music that they want, as they now have it at their fingertips.
In addition, more than a third (36%) of those surveyed for the “Music Report” said that using unverified sources to access music illicitly is becoming more difficult.
YouGov noted that the illegal downloading of content is still a “significant challenge” to those in the music industry, but the behavioural change demonstrated in the report shows “some light” at the end of the tunnel.
piracy, copyright infringement, YouGov, music downloads, streaming services, online copyright, market research, Spotify, online platform