Music piracy is Norway has been reduced by more than 80%, and film and TV piracy down by half, according to a new report. And it has all to do with legal alternatives like Spotify and Netflix.
The new report by Norwegian research body Ipsos MMI looked at piracy rates in 2008 and 2012, and found a dramatic decrease in illegal downloads in these 4 years.
Music piracy soared to 1.2 billion downloads in 2008 just in Norway alone, but is now at a manageable 210 million in 212, a sixth of what it used to be. Film piracy went from 125 million downloads to 65 million, while TV downloads were down to 55 million from 135 million.
Norway's recent introduction of stronger copyright laws might have influenced results somewhat, but according to the report, the decline is mostly down to the emergence of legal alternatives like Spotify.
"When you have a good legitimate offer, the people will use it," explained Olav Torvund, a former law professor at the University of Oslo.
To confirm the important role of market-led solutions to the piracy problem, the report surveyed users asking if they used the popular music streaming platform Spotify. 47% of users said that they did, and amazingly, half of these users said they paid for a premium Spotify account.
"There is no excuse for illegal copying, but when you get an offer that does not cost too much and is easy to use, it is less interesting to download illegally," added Torvund.
The introduction of Netflix in October of 2012 to Norway could see film and TV piracy rates drop even further when the statistics for 2013 are available.