Music piracy is a multi-faceted issue.
On one hand, record labels try to clamp down on anything that remotely resembles piracy, while still using outdated business models. Elsewhere, companies like YouTube basically give major labels free reign over copyright issues, while taking free reign themselves though liberal use of the DMCA.
Then, there are companies that enable vast amounts of piracy, all while claiming to promote dissemination of information and tech innovation.
Enter everyday music fans, many of whom are (still) downloading their favorite albums for free. If they can find any album they want using Google, then they can’t be bothered to support the artists they supposedly love so much.
But where exactly is that still happening? New information published by re/code suggests that music piracy habits are becoming even more complex, with people moving towards smartphones at an increasing rate.
Global market research company NPD Group says mobile applications are now the largest source of free music downloads.
According to NPD Group’s data, 27 million people in the United States used a mobile application to download free music in the past year, “much of it believed to be unauthorized”. They estimate that 21 million people use peer to peer sites to download music.
Russ Crupnick, NPD’s Sr. Vice President of Industry Analysis told re/code: “As the technology improves, it becomes a free for all for someone who wants free music files.”
Someone should probably take a closer look and find out what percent of the 27 million is actually unauthorized.
Image by Rafe Blandford on Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic. (CC BY 2.0)