Nearly 3 billion songs were downloaded illegally worldwide
About 43 million albums and singles were downloaded illegally during the first half (H1) of 2012 in the UK, with Manchester reporting the highest downloads followed by Nottingham and Southampton, according to a new report.
Musicmetric’s first ‘Digital Music Index’ report revealed that globally, about 3 billion songs were downloaded illegally during H1, as per the 405 million tracked torrents, which included 78% of albums and 22% singles.
The report also revealed that about 345 million songs were illegally downloaded on BitTorrent across the world.
According to BPI, which represents music firms, the downloads equate to an anticipated annual loss in retail sales of more than £500m, when compared to 14.8m digital album sales over the same period.
The release of report follows the commencement of implementation of efforts to control illegal downloading, which include blocking of popular piracy websites and the relegation and elimination of search results from Google.
Research also revealed that the most popular pirated albums during the period include Ed Sheeran’s + (Plus), Rizzle Kicks’ Stereo Typical and Rihanna’s Talk That Talk.
Musicmetric chief executive Gregory Mead said for the first time, the company have evidence that blocking Pirate Bay had little effect on illegal downloading.
"It is also clear however, that availability of streaming services like Spotify does reduce illegal activity as people have greater access to music they want," Mead said.
"The challenge for copyright holders is to find ways to monetise music files torrented online."
By 2014, internet service providers (ISP) have been ordered to send warning letters to users involved in illegal music download.