Research: illegal streaming ripping is the new downloading

More and more digital pirates use sites and tools to download music and video from streaming services like Spotify and Youtube. The number of users that rips streams is larger than the number of users that use illegal download sites, according to a research report from the Intellectual Property Office en de PSR For Music

About 15% of all adult internet users and 33% of internet users between 16 and 24 use illegal services to rip streams and online content so they can save them to their hard drive. Usage of stream ripping websites has increased with about 141% between 2014 and 2016.

The report states that in September last year nearly 500,000 times websites to rip content from e.g. Spotify and Youtube were used. Cyberlocker sites like Dropbox and Rapidshare were used nearly 100,000 times during the same timeframe and Bittorrent sites only about 24,000 times.

“As soon as we think we’ve come up with an innovative solution [to piracy], the pirates seem to come up with an even more innovative infringement tactic,” said Pippa Hall, Chief Economist at the IPO in an interview with the BBC.

Despite all anti-piracy campaigns, users don’t feel they are doing something wrong. Only 56% of all stream ripping pirates states to be aware they were doing something illegal.

Reasons for stream ripping mentioned by users:

  • Music was already owned by the user in another format (31% of users)
  • Wanting to listen to music offline (26%)
  • Wanting to listen to music on the move (25%)
  • Cannot afford to pay for music (21%)
  • The feeling that official music content is overpriced (20%)

There was some also good news for the music industry, the average amount spent on music increased from £68 ($87) in 2015 to £75 ($96) last year.