Some say music streaming platforms were initially successful because they worked to combat illegal music downloading. Ranging from five to ten dollars per month, they gave consumers a guilt free way to consume music without draining their bank account. However, recent research shows that music piracy is on the rise once again.
According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the last year has seen a 5% increase in music piracy, jumping from 35% to 40% of internet users worldwide. The IFPI seems to be placing the blame on search engines, noting that they “play a key role in copyright infringements” due to the easy to access of pirated material via their sites. THe report also noted that services like YouTube and Spotify are among the most pirated music sites.
Services like YouTube-to-MP3 converters and other stream ripping sites make downloading unlicensed music easy for those who don’t want to pay. While the IFPI is asking for stronger regulation, the highly contested topics of net neutrality and cyber security make progress on this issue unlikely for now.