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Swedish Survey Shows Legal Streaming Services, Like Spotify, Is A Piracy Killer

Posted by: , 14:57 AEST, Thu September 29, 2011

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While the music industry is still concentrating on legal and technical ways to stop piracy, legal streaming services like Spotify seems to have had the most success against piracy by competing directly with pirates

A new survey of Swedish music lovers has found that, since the launch of Spotify and other legal music streaming services, music piracy has decreased by more than 25%.

The survey looked at the music listening habits of Swedes between the ages of 15 and 74, and compared to results from 2009, the number of people pirating music has dropped by 25%, with just the last year alone recording a 9% drop. 

Spotify was launched in late 2008 in Europe, and has only recently made its way to the US. Spotify recently announced they now have 10 million users for the free streaming service in the US alone, and a further 2 million paying customers buying into the premium plan, which has no ads and comes with offline listening support.

The Swedish survey showed just how users have embraced services like Spotify, with 40% of respondents saying they use a legal music streaming service. 10% of users said they legally downloaded music.

23% admitted they still pirate music online, but this number has dropped significantly since 2009.

As for the reason why people are making the switch from illegal to legal, other than the moral reasons, 40% said that better selection of tracks is what attracted them the most, while 24% also said that cheaper offerings is what made them make the switch.

But Spotify's recent changes to the free account, including limiting the playback of each unique track to only 5 times after an initial 6 month "unlimited" period. Users will be restricted to 10 hours of free music after after the first 6 month. The survey showed that these changes may in fact convince users to pirate again, with 31% saying they might leave Spotify for other services, including file-sharing services.


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