Music Piracy

Information and statistics about music piracy and the unauthorized downloading of pirated music files. Data about the digital music files are collected from the entertainment industry and other public information sources.

In the first half of 2011, over 77 percent of digital content consumed in Spain was pirated, according to the Coalition of Creators and Industries of Content. The piracy caused the movie, music, book and video game industries to lose $7.2 Billion (5.2 Billion Euros) in earnings.

74 percent of all digital movies watched in Spain in the first half of 2011 were obtained from services other then the legitimate owner of the movie.

Source: Pamela Rolfe, “Over 77% of Digital Content Consumed in Spain is Pirated,” Hollywood Reporter, November 8, 2011.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), music piracy causes losses of $12.5 Billion to the United States economy.

Source:RIAA, “WHO MUSIC THEFT HURTS,” Website, accessd: August 6, 2011 , and Associated Press, “Online music piracy topic of Nashville meeting,” Bloomberg Businessweek, August 6, 2011.

Due to the counterfeiting and pirating of movies and music in Ecuador, disc manufacturers have lost 95 percent of their market share in the country.

Source: Patrick Corcoran, “Ecuador Port Sees Piracy Boom,” InSight, June 21, 2011.


9 percent of Internet users, or 16 million people, used file-sharing networks to download music off the Internet during the 4th quarter of 2010. The number of people is down from the 16 percent, or 28 million people, who used file-sharing networks in the 4th quarter of 2007.

Source: Mashable, “U.S. Internet piracy is on the decline,” USA Today, March 25, 2011.

According to a study focusing on 10,000 BitTorrent files found that porn was the most pirated files.

Porn files consisted of 35.8 percent of the files, followed by movies (35.2 percent), television shows (12.7 percent), non-gaming software (4.2 percent), and music (2.9 percent).

Source: Business Insider, “Forget About Buying Music Online — People Don’t Even Want To STEAL Music”, San Francisco Chronicle, February 4, 2011.

Piracy on the Internet of movies, music, video games and television shows make up to 24 percent of all Internet traffic worldwide.

Source: Gautham Nagesh, “Study: 24 percent of Web traffic involves piracy,” Hillicon Valley Blog, The Hill, February 1, 2011.

Music piracy on the Internet was responsible for 19 out of 20 downloads in 2010, according to the IFPI.

Source: Mark Sweney, “Global digital music sales slowing despite piracy crackdown,” Guardian, January 20, 2011.

According to KPMG’s Counterfeit Christmas Index Basket, a basket filled with counterfeit goods purchased in 11 major cities around the world was only 24 percent cheaper then a basket filled with the legitimate product.

The basket was filled with the following products, according to the Daily Finance:

  • DVD – movie in current Top 10 chart
  • CD – album in current top 10 chart
  • Counterfeit software
  • High end trainers
  • High end polo-shirt
  • Leading designer handbag
  • High end branded watch
  • High end sunglasses
  • Branded jeans
  • Good quality branded whiskey
  • Branded cigarettes

Source: Chris Wheal, “Counterfeit goods are more expensive,” Daily Finance, December 20, 2010.

Starting in 2003 and ending in 2008, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed lawsuits against 35,000 people for pirating music files off the Internet.

Source: AFP, “1.5-million-dollar verdict in US music piracy case,” Google News, November 4, 2010.

Internet piracy in Spain cost content holders up to $7.3 Billion (5.2 Billion Euros) in revenue in the first half of 2010.

Music piracy caused $3.8 Billion (2.7 Billion Euros) in losses, with 97.8 percent of all music downloads illegally pirated.

Movie piracy caused $2.6 Billion (1.8 Billion Euros) in losses, with 77 percent of all movie downloads illegally pirated.

And video game piracy caused $369 Million (262 Million Euros) in losses, with 60 percent of all video games downloaded illegally pirated.

In comparison, $2.2 Billion (1.5 Billion Euros) were legally generated by the content industry online during the same period.

Source: Pamela Rolfe, “Report: Piracy Costs Spanish Film, Music Sectors Billions,” Hollywood Reporter, November 3, 2010.