In its Global Piracy Report for 2017, Muso, British piracy-tracking startup, tracked around 300 billion visits to piracy sites.
This number jumped 1.6% year-over-year. In the UK alone, streaming music piracy increased 21%.
Then, last September, Muso published a surprising update. Thanks to the rise of streaming platforms, people now pirate less. Yet, while fewer people head to piracy sites – including The Pirate Bay – they frequently head to web-based music download sites instead.
And, while fewer people use torrenting websites, more people love downloading music videos from YouTube via ‘stream-ripping’ sites.
Then, just last month, the piracy-tracking startup published another astounding fact. Streaming music platforms may have actually curbed YouTube stream-ripping.
Muso found that music piracy had experienced a serious decline – 34% year-over-year.
Breaking down music piracy, public torrent networks, once a favored piracy delivery method, now account for just 13% of all infringing activity. Stream-ripping also fell 13% between 2017 and 2018 – from 8.9 billion visits to 7.7 billion. This was primarily due to YouTube-MP3.org’s closure in 2017, leading to a 16% drop in overall stream-ripper visits.
Now, to continue tracking copyright infringement, the piracy-tracking startup has confirmed new funding.
Investing in anti-piracy.
In an extension to its £2.5 million ($3.4 million at the historic exchange rate) 2017 Series A funding round, Muso has raised an additional £3.5 million ($4.5 million). Harwell Capital led both fundraising rounds.
According to the company, it will use the additional capital injection to “increase its foothold in the digital media, gaming, and live broadcast sectors.”
The startup focuses on removing unlicensed content on the internet. In addition, Muso also provides data and insights from piracy audiences. Last year, the company tracked 190 billion total visits to piracy sites throughout 2018.
The startup also focuses on pointing out to rightsholders and media distributors that piracy audiences remain untapped opportunities. Rightsholders, broadcasters, sports organizations, and brand advertisers use the information to analyze total audience consumption, content demand, creation, and monetization opportunities.
Speaking about the latest funding round, Andy Chatterley, cofounder and CEO of Muso, explained,
“Harwell has been a hugely supportive investment partner, who provide far more than cash alone to the company.
“They understand our vision and objectives, and bring significant advice and acumen to ensure we can execute on our continued growth plans in a most exciting market.”
Daniel O’Brien, Managing Director at Harwell Capital, added,
“Since [our] first investment round nearly 2 years ago, Andy and the team have delivered significant value to existing and new clients including global leading corporate businesses and trade bodies, transformed the Board to include high-profile growth stage veterans, and expanded the product range and application to significantly ratchet their addressable market.”
Featured image by Descrier (CC by 2.0).