Streaming Apps Like Spotify And Rdio Are Helping Kill Music Piracy

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Want to hear a good argument for the possibility of Apple launching an iRadio service? According to a couple ofnew report, 2012 is the first time since 1999 that piracy is down, and the music industry has actually grown. And music streaming services like Rdio and Spotify can take all the credit.

The first report is by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which says that the global recorded music industry revenue rose 0.3 percent to $16.5 billion last year, woth digital revenues up nine percent on the back of downloads, subscription and advertising-supported music services.

Not only that, but according to the NPD Group, the music being illegally downloaded has shrunk 26% since 2011, largely thanks to a la carte, ad- and subscription-supported music services like Spotify and Rdio. In fact, 40% of the people surveyed in the study said they didn’t pirate anything at all in 2012, even though they had in 2011.

And streaming isn’t just killing music piracy. 44% of all surveyed said they’d also stopped ripping CDs from families and friends. Of course, how many people are even buying CDs anymore.

The truth is that people would prefer to get their music legally and have clear consciences than rip it off. Apple has known this for a while, which is why they started making their tracks on iTunes DRM-free, and it’s also why I think the rumors are right and they’ll follow it up with their own streaming music service, coming soon. Downloads aren’t the future of music; streaming is.

  • Bruce Schrock

    I’m one of those former piraters, now turned to an avid spotifier. Not only is it legal and a clear conscience but its so much easier then having to manually download all the music files. Spotify is really one of the best things to happen to the music industry.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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