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Spotify Attacks Copyright Lobby's Claims

Posted by: , 18:08 AEST, Sat May 31, 2014

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Spotify says industry claims that free and cheap music services like Spotify has done nothing to stop piracy is not true, and that many of Spotify's users are ex-pirates
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Image/Photo Credit: Johan Larsson @ Flickr, CC

A war of words has erupted in Australia where Spotify has attacked claims by royalty collection organisation APRA AMCOS that cheap and legal options do not help to curb piracy, especially for the music industry.

Speaking in an opinion piece in the Australia Financial Review, APRA AMCOS analyst Andrew Harris supported proposals by the current government to toughen copyright laws, and attacked critics who say that the piracy problem can be reduced by increasing the availability of more affordable legal options.

"If music industry experience is anything to go by, making shows such as Game of Thrones available immediately on any device at the right price will not solve our piracy problems," Harris says at the start of his opinion piece.

Harris argues that Australia now has many cheap, sometimes free, legal music listening options like Spotify, and yet piracy rates have remained unchanged.

"In fact, results last month from our ongoing national research show that music piracy levels – just as they were almost two years ago – still sit at around the same level as that of movies and television shows," Harris says.

But Spotify's managing director here in Australia, Kate Vale, says that these claims are simply not true. 

Ms Vale sales that not only is anecdotal evidence contrary to Mr Harris's claims, Spotify will soon produce a project that demonstrates the big effect the service has had on music piracy in Australia in the two years that the service has been active.

"We do believe that access, availability and price does contribute and is the answer and we have proven this in other markets across Europe and particularly in Sweden where we have seen a 30 per cent reduction in piracy since we launched about six years ago," Vale says.

Vale adds that a lot of Spotify users are ex-pirates, and that 31% of users converts to the paid-for premium Spotify package in Australia, above the 25% average around the world.

Spotify is currently the most dominant force in music in Australia, with a 71% market share.


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