In a time where music could not be more readily available across the globe and across various channels, we can ask the question, why would anyone need to pirate music?
During 2017, MUSO, a company providing anti-piracy solutions, tracked over 300 billion visits to piracy sites globally and the demand for unlicensed music online was up to 14.7% year on year.
Each visit to a download or torrent site might represent a single track, an album or an entire back catalogue being downloaded – removing revenues from the digital ecosystem.
Some say that the industry needs to change the way that it views the piracy audience and that by dismissing this particular audiences could mean that the industry are overlooking a huge revenue opportunity that piracy could possibly present.
In fact, the piracy audience are usually committed fans who are willing to go to lengths to find the content that they desire.
Given the revenue potential, should the piracy audience be one to be ignored? If just half of the people who access pirated content were converted to paying subscribers, then this would make a positive impact on the music industry.
The analysis of this type of data can provide significant insight into many aspects of an album campaign and general artist audience awareness.
Being able to view high intent geographical demand from piracy audiences and comparing that to other artists and releases can inform a wide range of promotional and marketing activities from radio, PR, touring, licensing, music synchronisation rights, marketing budgets and distribution.
So, is it about time that we acknowledged how big the global piracy audience is and the way it can be used by the industry to their benefit?
If the industry can better understand these audiences and their behaviour and try to drive them back to legal channels then the future for the music industry is looking brighter.