Global music piracy downloads grew by almost a fifth in 2015


The amount of music downloaded on illegal piracy sites grew by 16.5% in the second half of 2015 compared to the year’s opening six months.

That’s according to leading content protection and market analytics company MUSO, which tracked web activity on 576 sites which were ‘wholly dedicated to music piracy or contained significant music content’.

Across these sites, MUSO analysed over 2 billion visitor traffic hits globally.

The research, exclusively provided to MBW, comes from MUSO’s ‘2015 Global Music Piracy Insights’ Study

Interestingly, the company found that music was particularly hit hard: the amount of online visitor traffic across piracy-enabling torrent sites covering all media types dropped by 20% throughout the course of 2015.

For this stat, MUSO studied 840 different torrent sites and alias proxies, which attracted over 10 billion visitor traffic hits in the year.

The company also tracked illegal music streaming sites, concluding that activity here was flat in 2015. The worst culprit in this category was the Russian Federation – the world’s number one user of web streaming sites.

The US was found to be No.1 in the list of countries by visitor traffic using piracy torrent sites of all types.

However, looking at music downloads specifically, the US was No.3, with Germany at No.4 and the UK at No.13.

MUSO found that the US represented 10% of global music web download piracy site visitor traffic – with 213 million site visitor hits registered in the market in 2015.

MUSO CEO Andy Chatterley said: “‘This shows that a huge global audience is still very active with piracy, but that there is a incredible opportunity for the industry to re-connect with these people and drive them back to legal channels.

“This is a key objective that we are achieving through our RETUNE technology which, combined with content protection and our Market Analytics solution to discover new audiences, is turning piracy into an opportunity”Music Business Worldwide

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  • What’s the consensus on how accurate these numbers are?

    • HSSL

      there are known unknowns and unknown unknowns

    • David Lowery

      Matches VPN growth in western countries.

      • David Lowery


  • Flora

    Sponsored posts should come with a clear notice.

  • Megan

    Even if they eliminate piracy tomorrow, I still have tens of thousands of songs on my various devices. Today’s music is bad, and now that I have just about every song from the 90s and 80s (my fave decades)…I will very rarely be buying music in the future unless things change drastically. And I’m not old! I’m in my 30s. The music industry has basically lost me for life.