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Netflix and Spotify Aren’t ‘Solving Piracy,’ Study Finds. ‘Piracy Is Higher Than Ever

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Wait: weren’t Spotify and Netflix supposed to eradicate piracy?

According to just-released data, music piracy increased during the first six months of 2017, with brand-new annual highs recorded. In fact, piracy — across all formats, including music, TV, film, gaming, and books — keeps climbing.

So what’s going on?

According to MUSO’s 2017 Global Piracy Report, there were 73.9 billion visits to music piracy sites worldwide last year. That’s an all-time high, though TV and video-related piracy sites are solidly in the lead. Looks like the piracy monster is steadily shifting towards bigger-bandwidth video, though the overall appetite is increasing.

Also worth nothing: the overall number of people online keeps growing. That makes comparisons to earlier eras difficult, especially when absolute numbers are used.

Overall, MUSO was able to record 300 billion visits to piracy sites across-the-board, suggesting that “piracy is more popular than ever.”

TV remained the favorite with 106.9 billion site visits, with most preferring streaming over torrents or direct downloading. In fact, streaming piracy now constitutes the majority of pirate visits, at 53%. Torrenting and direct downloading remain strong, but far behind.

Music piracy followed, with film landing third with 53.2 billion visits.

There’s a belief that the rise in popularity of on-demand services such as Netflix and Spotify have solved piracy. Sounds logical, but that theory simply doesn’t quite stack up. According to MUSO co-founder/CEO Andy Chatterly, “our data suggest that piracy is more popular than ever.”

Indeed, this is an animal that’s getting more complicated. MUSO broke down five different types of piracy within music: web streaming sites (30.5 billion); web download sites (21.2 billion); streaming ripping sites (15.7 billion); public torrent sites (6 billion) and private torrent sites (500 million).

Streaming and streaming-related piracy are easily the biggest chunk of the brand-new pie.

Notably, music piracy is heavily skewed toward mobile users: 87.13 percent of those visits overall were accessed via mobile, compared to just 52 percent for TV.

Piracy — across all formats — has yet to see a significant decline, and remains a long way from being eradicated (if that’s even possible). But there is room for optimism. MUSO’s data shows that some of the industry’s anti-piracy battles are making significant progress, specifically against stream-ripping sites. Let’s wait and see.

According to the data. visits to stream-ripping piracy sites declined 33.86 percent in the last half of the year.
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