The latest data from piracy expert Muso indicates that stream-ripping is still on the rise. It found that in the first nine months of 2016, there were 7.2 billion visits worldwide to stream-ripping sites. There were 4.5 billion visits in the same period of 2015. Muso estimated that about 60% of stream-ripping traffic is focused on audio-only sites.
Stream-ripping is when an illegal copy is made of legally streaming music. One of the biggest known offenders is Germany-based website YouTube-mp3.org. All three major labels have mounted a lawsuit against the site, which makes audio copies of the audio from YouTube videos.
A study earlier this year from the IFPI also pointed to stream-ripping as a serious piracy issue for music. Previous Muso research also showed that piracy is making a similar change to legal music consumption, with shifts toward seeking access instead of outright ownership.