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July 22, 2013

Spotify analysis uncovers post-festival rise in music piracy

  Law on the Web

By Michael Dunn

Research from Spotify has claimed that although the festival season increases demand for artists’ music, it leads to a rise in its acquisition through unauthorised channels.

A statement from the popular music streaming service said: "Our analysis uncovered some examples of torrents spiking immediately after festival performances."

Spotify believes that "instant gratification" is proven to reduce the likelihood of this "spiking" of piracy. This means that any artists who release material to the streaming markets, while putting it on sale, will experience significant benefits.

A study undertaken at a Dutch festival in 2012 highlighted how BitTorrent downloads “skyrocketed” for various artists following their sets.

Music piracy has had huge economic implications. From 2004 to 2009 it is estimated that 30 billion songs were illegally downloaded.  In addition, analysis from the Institute for Policy Innovation concluded that global music piracy causes $12.5 billion in economic losses every year.

The streaming service Spotify is not without its critics. Artists are often displeased with the amount that Spotify pay them for making their music available on the service. Radiohead lead singer and writer Thom Yorke recently pulled some of the band’s albums from the service in protest. The frontman tweeted that he was "standing up for fellow musicians".

However, recent encouraging news shows a fall in piracy thanks to streaming services such as Spotify and Netflix. Further research indicates that there were 260 million pirated movies and TV shows downloaded in 2008, but that figure has fallen to 120 million.

While television show piracy has reduced by half in four years, its peak was reached at the start of 2011, with 200 million shows copied.

Early predictions from the Official Charts Company have predicted that 2013 will be the biggest year for singles sales in UK chart history.


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