Young consumers boost legal music downloads and streaming

Young Music Fans, Downloading, Legal Downloads

The Who had it right when they sang, “the kids are alright.” 

A new report out of the UK has revealed a few surprising changes in the way people consume media. Despite the overall rate of piracy remaining largely the same, there has been a notable drop in digital piracy among the 16-24 demographic. A 7% dip, to be precise.

The latest figures, from the Online Copyright Infringement (OCI) tracker, are published on British IP Day. The annual tracker measures the level of online copyright infringement in the UK. The UK has led the way in measuring online copyright infringement in this way with Australia, and more recently Canada, using the same method.

Additional highlights from the newly released report include:

  • The UK has a lower overall infringement rate (25% of online content consumers) than both Canada (26%) and Australia (38%).
  • Levels of infringement varied by content type. TV programmes recorded the highest levels of infringement (23% amongst consumers of TV), with music (18%) and films (19%). Whereas infringement of software has decreased from 26% in 2017 to 20% this year. Infringement of sports content was 21%.
  • An increase in the share of consumers citing convenience, quality, and fears of viruses/malware/spyware as reasons for choosing paid for services over free services.
  • 65% of those who consumed any of the six key content types during the past three months paid for at least some of it (an increase from 60% in 2017), this is partly due to increased spend on subscription services.
  • Amongst infringers, there was a decline in the use of BitTorrent software (from 11% of infringers in 2017 to 7% this year), while the use of Kodi remained relatively unchanged (used by 12% of infringers).

What does this mean for those of us in the USA?

The US does not commission piracy reports, but if we assume similar results would exist here then we can (at the very least) hope for a better future. If piracy is not a trend in younger generations then there is always a chance future musicians will not be plagued by the same type of theft those who have been working the last twenty years have experienced.

Piracy, it seems, could be a generational issue. Those who steal do so because it became normalized while they were still developing as consumers. If younger generations, those born on or after the year 2000, do not view piracy the same then it’s possible piracy rates will continue to fall moving forward.

In the meantime, musicians need to realize piracy is still a serious threat to their career and wallet. Join Haulix today and protect your new release from those who wish to steal it.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.