1While many believe that the streaming age brought about the end of illegal downloading of music, it seems that it has only replaced it with stream ripping, a process through which music is illegally saved while it’s being streamed.


Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0

Streaming seems to have wiped out music piracy, but not according to the IFPI. The global recording industry organization claims that piracy is still alive and well but just in another form. While illegal downloads dominated piracy a few years ago, now it’s attributed to stream ripping (illegally saving music while streaming it).

Here’s a chart from Statista that covered music consumers in 13 countries over the past 6 months. Surprisingly, 30 percent admitted to music piracy by ripping streamed music. If the data is to be believed, 55% of males 16 to 24 years of age stream rip. However, a part of the chart that seems suspect is that roughly 16% of Baby Boomers aged 55 to 64 commit piracy. The fact is that most boomers can easily afford a streaming service like Spotify or Apple Music, and want to avoid the hassle involved with pirating a song, even if they know how to do it.

The IFPI and the RIAA has always presented inflated numbers on piracy because the fact is that there’s no way to know for sure. Even back in the days of vinyl where piracy was a much more difficult process, it was still all just a big guess. So take these numbers and the chart with a grain of salt. I suspect this is as much of a guess as in the past, and nowhere near the actual figure.

Infographic: Music Piracy Still Prevalent in the Age of Streaming | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista