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The proportion of music fans downloading illegally has fallen to 17 percent from 25 percent a year ago, as listeners switch to streaming services, The Leading Question research says. The drop is most pronounced in the 14-to-18 age bracket.
— Teen streaming growing: Whilst, a year ago, 42 percent of them were sharing files at least once a month, that’s now down to just 26 percent. While 18 percent of fans across the age groups stream music every day, that rises to 31 percent of the teens.
— Reproportioning: The emergence of streaming services has also brought down the ratio of P2P tracks versus legally consumed tracks from 4:1 a year ago to 2:1 now. And purchasing of legal tracks (19 percent) is now said to be more popular than file sharing (17 percent), though illegal downloading of albums (13 percent) is still more prevalent than purchases (10 percent).
— Growing the cake: The figures seem incongruous in an industry which admits 95 percent of track downloads are unauthorised, and at odds with previous research from the likes of British Music Rights, which found 63 percent of people download from P2P. If true, the government may be well on its way to reducing piracy, even before Digital Britain’s measures are introduced. It may not be that the volume of illegal downloads is falling – rather, that the growing popularity of streaming services like Spotify, YouTube and We7 is proving additive to the overall amount of consumption.
Methodology: The Leading Question polled 1,000 UK music fans with broadband, aged 14 to 64. Release.