Reports Music

Fighting Free With Free How YouTube Usurped BitTorrent

Report by Mark Mulligan
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The 20,000 Foot View

Ever since Napster raised its head in 1999 the music industry has been fighting a rear guard action against free.  BitTorrent picked up Napster’s baton and ran with it, begetting music industry’s cartoon villain The Pirate Bay.  Now though free has both changed and achieved far greater scale through licensed streaming services.  Peer-to-peer file sharing XXX remains a part of the equation but is very much the poor relation and pales in comparison to YouTube’s reach.  An entire generation of music fans has been weaned on free and the music industry finds itself at a decision point in which the future role of free must be reassessed.

Key Findings

  • At XXX XXX piracy is still a significant part of the free music landscape but it is no longer the force it once was
  • XXX is the new face of music piracy.  YouTube rippers are used by XXX of consumers and free music downloader apps by XXX style="line-height: XXX and Brazil have the highest rates of piracy.  Sweden and Germany have the lowest rates
  • XXX piracy is more pervasive than XXX ever was and is more dangerous because it has the veneer of legitimacy by appearing on Apple’s and Google’s app stores
  • XXX free has been usurped by licensed free: XXX of consumers stream audio for free while XXX stream videos for free
  • XXX has a strong lead over audio streaming in all markets except Sweden and the US where its lead is less than XXX points
  • XXX streaming has helped grow the free pie more than it has stolen piracy’s slice: only XXX of consumers say they have stopped or reduced using XXX because of streaming
  • XXX is the cornerstone of music consumption among youth. XXX of under XXX stream music videos for free and XXX stream audio for free
  • XXX is time for a recalibration of free, with a more evidence based role for YouTube and a honing of the freemium model

Companies mentioned in this report: Spotify, Pandora, Soundcloud, YouTube, Apple, Google, The Pirate Bay, Napster, BitTorrent

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