According to the UK digital music firm Music Ally, in January this year only 17 per cent of web users said they regularly downloaded music from illegal file-sharing sources on the web, compared to 22 per cent in December 2007. When it comes to teens, the fall has increased with just 26 per cent of 14-18 year olds admitting to illegally downloading this year, compared to 42 per cent in December 2007.
Music Ally also revealed that 65 per cent of teens are streaming music from services such as Spotify on a regular basis.
“File sharing is a moving target, so industry and government policies need to recognise this,” says Music Ally CEO Paul Brindley. “It’s already being somewhat displaced by other means of accessing music for free. Some are licensed, many are not licensed and some involve a bit of both. Kids find services like YouTube much more convenient for checking out new music than file-sharing. But even YouTube can become a source of piracy with some kids ripping YouTube videos and turning them into free MP3 downloads.”