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Dramatic Piracy Reduction in Norway Has Not Helped Profits to Rise

Posted by: , 12:01 AEDT, Thu January 29, 2015

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Less piracy does not equal more money for the music industry, as music piracy in Norway all but wiped out thanks to legal streaming
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Image/Photo Credit: Tobias Vemmenby @ Flickr, CC

A potential 95% decline in music piracy in Norway has not helped the music industry record a significant rise in profits, a new survey has found.

The survey, which was actually conducted by the music industry's anti-piracy lobby, simply asked Norwegians under 30 whether they illegally downloaded music. Only 4% of respondents said they still do, which compares very favorably to the same survey conducted 5 years ago, in 2009, where 80% of those surveyed said they downloaded music illegally.

Norway, like other parts of Europe, has adopted tougher anti-piracy laws in these preceding five years, but the head of IFPI Norway Marte Thorsby does not credit tougher enforcement for the drop in piracy.

"We are now offering services that are both better and more user-friendly than illegal platforms. In [the past] five years, we have virtually eliminated illegal file sharing in the music industry," Thorsby said.

The services that Thorsby refers to include Spotify, the freemium based streaming platform that has taken off in Norway, providing free ad-supported music to many who used to pirate.

However, the dramatic reduction in piracy does not appear to have led to a similarly dramatic rise in revenue - in fact, in real dollar terms, revenue seems to have dropped from 2009 to 2014.

BitTorrent news website TorrentFreak reports that, not accounting for inflation, music revenue in Norway has only increased by 1.5%. When inflation is added to the calculations, revenue has actually fallen.

This seem to suggest that the music industry's revenue troubles are less to do with piracy, and more to do with other factors, including the transition from physical media to digital (only 15% of content in 2009 were supplied via digital media, compared to 86% in 2014).


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