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Stream ripping now a bigger issue than illegal downloads

Torrent groups and downloads have traditionally been the biggest thorn in the music industry’s side, but it looks like stream-ripping is the industry’s new arch-nemesis

According to the Music Consumer Insight Report 2016, over a third of internet users (35%) access unlicensed content on the internet.

The report, which was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), found that traditional illegal downloads were waning in favour of stream-ripping.

Who needs torrent sites when stream ripping is a thing?

“Infringement is changing, with half (49%) of 16 to 24 year olds stream ripping from sites like YouTube,” read an excerpt of the study.

Aside from the 16 to 24 year old group,  25 to 34 year olds (40%) and 35 to 44 year olds (25%) were the most active stream rippers. The 45-54 (21%) and 55-64 (16%) age groups accounted for the lowest rates of stream ripping.

According to the study, 30% of internet users in general were ripping streams.

The report added that YouTube was the most popular music streaming service around. “82% of all YouTube visitors use it for music. More people use YouTube to consume music they already know than to discover new content,” the study found.

The role of YouTube in music streaming

However, IFPI CEO Frances Moore highlighted what he called the “value gap” in the industry.

“The research highlights the dominant position amongst music services of YouTube, as well as the fact that the site is used by consumers primarily to access music they know, on-demand,” Moore elaborated.

“Yet YouTube can get away without remunerating fairly artists and producers by hiding behind ‘safe harbour’ laws that were never designed for services that actively engage with and make available music enjoyed by the vast majority of its users.”

Despite the doom and gloom, the study noted that consumption of licensed music was growing, with 71% of internet users accessing licensed content.

The study saw 900 internet users per country surveyed, with 13 countries covered.

Author | Hadlee Simons

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings over seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat. More

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