Culture is future » Financing and economic models


Article - Music Piracy : A British geolocation index initiates the debate

To those who predict a fall of illegal music downloads, Musicmetric, a monitoring service company specialized in the music industry, has given a wake-up call.

Its new index, the Digital Music Index enables to analyze trends, preferences and geolocation of millions of music fans and confirms that music piracy is still defying the industry. It can even be used as a marketing tool, more accurate than legal platforms could be.

Figures and edifying assessments

Despite the obstacles – only a small part of piracy is traceable- Musicmetric has located the users obtaining music by using BitTorrent - a method of getting files by downloading from many users at the same time- to draw a cartography of British usages.

The first edition of the Digital Music Index shows, among other things that:

  • 43 million albums and singles were downloaded illegally in the UK during the first six months of the year
  •  Ed Sheeran - with his album + - is, since January 2012, the most illegally downloaded artist in 459 of the 694 cities, towns and villages covered by the research
  • Preferences can locally emerge such as in the Isle of Wight, whose most illegally download artist is Louis Armstrong
  • Manchester is Britain's download piracy capital for music (downloads per capita) followed by Nottingham and Southampton (London ranks 20th)
  • There is no obvious correlation between the size of the student population of a town and illegal downloads
  • Or, even more useful, Justin Bieber is the most downloaded artist in Kidlington, Oxfordshire

Services to help marketing music

For its clients, the Musicmetric index represents without any doubt the most accurate picture yet of the digital music cyberspace to refine their offers. Its numerous informations on music consumers will most probably allow them to precisely locate new tastes and play on diversity…

But at what cost and for what return on investment? What is the point of knowing well your target when this one considers your offer should be free? How to stop a habit that remains massive despite the efforts to offer a satisfactory legal alternative? How to get back the millions of euros, pounds and dollars that could each year be reinvested in emerging artists? Musicmetric answers that geolocation and permanent internet monitoring can be used in a beneficial way… but who will be able to afford their services?


To go further:

To get the study: