Music piracy has dropped over the past 5 years. But in 2021, it slowly started to grow again.

MBW’s Stat Of The Week is a series in which we highlight a single data point that deserves the attention of the global music industry. Stat Of the Week is backed by Cinq Music Group, a technology-driven record label, distribution and rights management company.


Music streaming has long been hailed as the killer of music piracy.

While there is no doubt that streaming has transformed the fortunes of major labels and subscriptions to music streaming platforms are growing (up 26.4% to 523.9 million subscribers worldwide at the end of the second quarter of 2021, according to Midia), piracy has always appeared. make a comeback in 2021.

This is according to a new study published by the data company MUSO, who works with people like labels, publishers and rights holders to protect their content from piracy,

MUSO data, from its Discover analytics platform, shows that music piracy declined steadily year over year from January 2017 to the second half of 2020 – bbut it gradually started to increase throughout 2021.

As you can see in the chart below, according to data from MUSO, there was a 65% decrease in music-related piracy visits globally in 2021 compared to 2017.

MUSO notes that the music industry’s decision not to encourage exclusive content on streaming platforms has had a positive impact on music piracy over the past five years.

However, there were 2.18% to augment in 2021 compared to 2020, and 18.6% to augment in Q4 2021 compared to Q4 2020.



So what is driving this growth in piracy in the age of music streaming?

According to MUSO, the number one online destination for music piracy is so-called “stream-ripping” websites.

Stream ripping sites, which allow users to rip and download audio from YouTube, accounted for 39.2% of all music piracy globally in 2021, up from 33.9% in 2020.

A number of prominent stream ripping sites have faced lawsuits from the recorded music industry in recent years.

Last month, for example, a U.S. judge ordered the operators of two stream-scraping sites to pay more than $80 million in damages for circumventing YouTube’s anti-piracy measures and violating copyrights. author on audio recordings.

This case was brought by the RIAA and more than a dozen record labels, including Universal, Warner and Sony in 2018.



Meanwhile, unlicensed streaming sites accounted for 31.5% of all music piracy visits in 2021, while illegal downloads accounted for 24.3% (see above).

Private and public torrents accounted for the remaining 5%.

Looking at MUSO data globally shows that India is the most popular country for music piracy, with unlicensed web streaming and downloads being the most popular forms of music piracy. popular in the market.

Iran is the second most popular market for music piracy, followed by the United States in third place, where with 63% of all activity, stream mining was the most popular piracy method there. low, according to MUSO.



MUSO says its 2021 data was obtained by tracking more than 182 billion visits to piracy websites for movies, TV, music, software and publishing.

The company adds that music piracy accounted for 8.15% of all piracy it measured in 2021.

“Data shows that in 2020 and 2021, traffic to music piracy sites increased, largely due to growing demand from stream mining websites.”

Andy Chatterley, Muso

Andy Chatterley, CEO of Muso, said: “Globally, digital piracy is high across all media industries. MUSO measured 182 billion visits to piracy websites in 2021 and we saw a significant increase in piracy traffic in TV, film and publishing in 2021.

“Over the past few years, we have seen a steady decline in music piracy traffic – which I believe was driven by the decision to discourage exclusive content on streaming platforms. However, data shows that this trend leveled off in 2020 and that in 2021 traffic to music piracy sites increased, largely due to the growing demand for stream mining websites.

Chatterley added: “Another troubling development is what MUSO calls ‘artist hijacking’ where an artist’s profile is hijacked on legal services and new music is released claiming to be by the official artist but in fact completely unrelated and without exception extremely damaging to an existing brand, often using DIY distributors to generate quick revenue from a global artist profile and stream.

“We see many instances of this type of trademark infringement for global artists and MUSO helps many managers and labels monitor and protect against this type of activity.”


Five Music Group’s repertoire has won Grammy Awards, dozens of RIAA Gold and Platinum certifications, and numerous No. 1 positions on a variety of Billboard charts. His repertoire includes heavy hitters like Bad Bunny, Janet Jackson, Daddy Yankee, TI, Sean Kingston, Anuel and hundreds more.The music industry around the world