Music Piracy: United States Tops List Of Illegal Downloaders

In a study recently released by Musicmetric, Americans steal more music than anyone else on the planet. According to Music Week, people in the United States downloaded approximately 96.6 million illegal files over the first six months of 2012. If the bandwidth keeps flowing at this rate, Americans will have snatched nearly 200 million files in the span of one year.

Music lovers in the United Kingdom currently hold the second place position, downloading an estimated 43.2 million illegal files during the first quarter of the year. Specifically, pirates in the UK managed to snag 33 million albums and roughly 10 million singles.

Musicmetric CEO Gregory Mead explained that the study proves that blocking access to torrent sites has done nothing to curb the flow of illegal material. “For the first time, we have evidence that blocking Pirate Bay had little effect on BitTorrent downloading,” he explained. “It is also clear however, that availability of streaming services like Spotify does reduce this activity as people have greater access to music they want via legitimate means.”

Mead also believes it’s up to record labels to find a way to make money in the new digital age. “The challenge for copyright holders is to find ways to monetise music files torrented online,” he added. “The potential for converting revenue lost through file trading is not entirely a fairy tale, however it will differ with different genres and life stages of artist.”

Neil Young, who was once very angry at YouTube for not paying him royalties for the songs posted on the website, has declared music piracy to be the modern-day version of the radio.

“It doesn’t affect me because I look at the internet as the new radio,” Young explained during a recent news conference. “I look at the radio as gone. Piracy is the new radio. That’s how music gets around. That’s the radio. If you really want to hear it, let’s make it available, let them hear it, let them hear the 95 percent of it.”

Do you download music illegally through torrent sites? Do you feel that it’s up to the music industry to provide a suitable alternative?