Paid Subscription Swapping is the New Music Piracy

By Gary Cutlack on at

New stats into the popularity of Spotify in the UK claim that 14 per cent of the population has a paid account with the service, with around 10 per cent of people currently using a paid subscription to a service doing so via the borrowed credentials of a friend or family member. That's a new kind of stealing, like having a lick of someone else's Solero when you're only supposed to be holding it while they retrieve the frisbee.

Of the 14 per cent that pays for a music subscription, 62 per cent do so through Spotify; making it by far and away the most popular streaming portal. And it's on the up, too, with the 15,000 people surveyed by Kantar Worldpanel revealing that paid-for subscriptions to Spotify have increased by 25 per cent year on year.

This year also saw the slow, shuffling return of the CD buyer, with 23 per cent of the people -- the majority over 40 -- remembering they used to like listening to music and buying the new Adele record, or some other compilation of things they liked in the 1970s/1980s, on a physical format.

These lurking shoppers rarely make a purchase, though, with Kantar's Fiona Keenan explaining: "...while there are still CD fans who buy frequently, at the other end of the spectrum is the type of consumer that's only drawn to the biggest releases. Thirty-six percent of those who bought Adele's 25 on CD in its first month of release hadn't bought a single physical album in the year prior." [Music Week via BBC]

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