A new report published by the music industry body BPI has revealed that nearly one in three Britons are engaging in illegal downloading.
An astounding 1.2 billion tracks have been reportedly downloaded illegally, with a mere 370million being obtained from legal regulated sources. This means that more than three quarters of the songs acquried digitally this year have come from illegal websites.
The current number of songs downloaded legally in the UK currently stands at a staggeringly low 1 billion when compared to those taken from illegal methods.
This problem is said to be getting worse as more and more of the population are refusing to pay for their music.
Despite the UK’s 67 regulated online music retailers, almost 30percent of the UK’s online population is involved in illegal downloading of music products, with men accounting for 60 percent of this figure.
It has also been revealed that even pensioners are jumping on the bandwagon, fuelling the illegal industry. While the published research did not monitor this age group in detail, it has been reported that 15 percent of 45 – 54 year olds were taking part in the piracy.
As a result of this the music industry is suffering losses of up to £1billion; this is hardly surprising when in September alone 6.1million people visited an illegal site.
The report has warned that it is ‘worryingly straightforward’ to find music illegally by using a search engine.
It is shown that 17 out of the first 20 search results when searching for a UK Chart Top 20 song are illegal download sites.
The BPI is urging sites such as Google and Bing to take action.
BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor said: ‘If those 1.2billion tracks were CD’s stacked on top of each other they would reach 74 miles high.’
‘Illegal downloading is a parasite that threatens to deprive a generation of talented young people of their chance to make a career in music, and is holding back investment in the fledgling digital entertainment sector.’
However, on the brightside legal downloads are also increasing accounting for 24.5 percent of this year’s music revenue – up from 19.2.