EU study reveals significant decline in digital music piracy

This indicates a 31% drop from 56% in 2016, in comparison to pirated video content, which experienced a small decline from 85% in 2016 to 79%.

In terms of overall digital consumption, approximately one third of young users accessed illegal digital content but only 25% did so intentionally. And at least 80% have accessed some sort of licensed content in the past year.

The study also found that the use of pirated content varied significantly according to country. In wealthier countries like the Germany, piracy was as low as 13% whereas in poorer EU countries like Lithuania, about 45% of young people engaged with illegal content.

The reasons for piracy have also shifted from price being the main factor towards the lack of choice and convenience being a stimulant. The EUIPO also found that music is the most popular content among young people, with 97% streaming or downloading music.

On the flipside, password sharing is fast becoming an issue in the music streaming business amid declines in pirated music content.

This follows the recent announcement by the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) that it is looking for solutions to tackle password sharing among users.

ACE was originally established to combat piracy but the organisation has shifted from pulling down illegal streaming services to fighting password sharing as the new piracy frontier.

ACE includes a number of high-profile companies such as Netflix, Amazon, Comcast and more recently Charter, which joined the alliance on Wednesday.

“We are very pleased that ACE and its coalition of members have committed through this initiative to take on unauthorised password sharing and other content security practices,” Charter CEO Tom Rutledge said. “We look forward to working together on this important issue.”

It was reported that Netflix lost $135m in subscriptions due to password misuse in 2018. According to a report from earlier this year, one in three Apple Music subscribers also share their passwords.