A new trend in music piracy could be counteracting the gains made by subscription streaming services. According to new research by the IFPI and Ipsos, nearly half of people aged 16 to 24 use software to make illegal copies of streamed music. This activity, known as stream ripping, has now become the top form of music piracy, with some number of survey respondents in all age groups reporting using those programs.
Ipsos surveyed consumers in 13 markets; the question of which markets is unanswered in the reporting we saw.
The IFPI has particularly focused on YouTube as a potential site of stream ripping. The service has 1.3 billion users and a large proportion of them listen to music; 81% of YouTube music listeners used it as an on-demand service, according to Ipsos. Within the 16-24 age group, about 90% listen to music on YouTube.
The organization is using this latest batch of data as further support for its argument that YouTube should have to pay more into the music industry. “The data from the survey demonstrates clearly that YouTube is a major destination for on-demand music and makes it difficult to accept any argument that the site should operate outside the normal music licensing environment,” it said.
Much of recent YouTube crticism has centered on the company’s methods for removing or blocking unauthorized uploads that the music rights holder wants removed. that whole issue, tangled in legal and technical complications, is entirely different from stream-ripping, which depends on third-party apps. The IFPI’s focus on the “music licensing environment” apparently relates to YouTube’s general popularity, not specifically to the use of ripping apps.
The IFPI is a global advocacy and lobbying group for the recording industries of many countries.