Music Piracy is Down in the UK, According to YouGov

By Tom Pritchard on at

The past few years has seen an explosion in different ways to access media content easily and legally. While piracy hasn't disappeared completely, multiple studies have shown levels of piracy have fallen over the past few years suggesting some people have been adopting legal sources instead of doing everything illegally. Now the latest YouGov study has found fewer British people are pirating their music compared to five years ago.

According to YouGov 10 per cent of British people admit to adding to their music collection via piracy, down from 18 per cent five years ago. 63 per cent of the pirate think they'll still be at it in five years time, while 22 per cent do not.

36 per cent of pirates feel that using unverified sources to find music is becoming increasingly difficult, and 44 per cent of people admitted they were willing to pirate if music wasn't available anywhere else. 63 per cent of people who stopped pirating have moved onto streaming as the alternative. Reasons for the change included the fact streaming is now easier than pirating, and that services like Spotify has pretty much everything you would want to listen to. That said 51 per cent of people expressed frustration when songs and albums were exclusive to one platform.

Justin Marshall, Associate Director at YouGov, said:

“While illegal downloads still present a significant challenge to the music industry, there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel. Our research reveals a change in behaviour, with those that previously attained music by unlawful means now being enticed by the low costs and ease of use associated with streaming.

Simply put, many don’t feel they need to go to the same lengths to acquire the music they want, now they have it at their fingertips. Whether or not streaming is what finally banishes illegal downloads remains to be seen, but there are encouraging signs.”