95% of Music Downloads Are Pirated

Illustration for article titled 95% of Music Downloads Are Pirated

According to the AFPI, the music biz made $3.7 billion on digital downloads in 2008. Too bad that was only on the 5% of dowloaded music people actually paid for.


Despite this being one of the foggiest of the foggy statistics to track (quantifying a black/gray market is pretty tough), the IFPI's 2008 report (basically, they're the international RIAA) does estimate that only 5% of the music we acquire online is purchased legitimately. I mean, it makes sense to me, but it's good to put that number in perspective some time.

How about a New Year's resolution to support the bands you love by buying something from them, directly if possible? I know my music karma could use a positive jolt. [IFPI Report (PDF) via BBC, CrunchGear]


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I find issue with the claim that "crappy music" is partly the reason for the rise of illegal downloads. I'm going to say that this is likely just flat-out wrong.

I believe that the issue is simply availability. It's there, and people will take it. If music was getting so much crappier (and I'm sure it is), wouldn't this lead to a general decline of piracy of contemporary "hits"?

Impulse downloading is just a great deal easier these days. If it was easier back when music was "good", it would've happened then as well.