The biggest problem of the 21st century for musicians has been “how to get people to not steal our music.” Now, it seems the problem of the next decade will be, “how do we actually get paid for making our music”, as streaming becomes more and more popular. As was proven last week (February 4th) when a swiss psych-rock artist reported that he had made $10 from over 100,000 views on YouTube, with the rise of streaming, piracy has become kind of obsolete. This is especially shown by a recent Norwegian study that shows how piracy is down by 76%
The study, conducted by IFPI and GramArt, was also conducted more than 5 years ago in 2009, which found that almost 80% of the people who were surveyed, who were all under 30 and had access to the internet, were all illegally downloading. Now, the study was performed under the same circumstances, just 5 years later. The study found that 96% of people reported to not illegally downloading anything.
Here’s the graphs for the studies:
So, the big question is, what changed? Well, IFPI provided another study detailing how people listen to their music:
The graph shows an almost 10% jump in streaming services from 2013, and with Spotify’s recent rise to power, it can be safely inferred that this massive decline in piracy is due to streaming services. This seems especially true, considering the gain in streaming was taken almost entirely out of the market for downloads. A member of IFPI Norge commented on the change, saying:
“We have managed to reintroduce a healthy economy in music industry. We must simultaneously not forget that we are only in streaming’s infancy, and that we will probably see major changes in the coming years.
“Younger audiences are using streaming services to the greatest extent. When older audiences [start] embracing these services we will probably see a somewhat different distribution of revenues. Hopefully this will also involve a better economy for several Norwegian artists and record companies.
“All of us who work with this every day want a healthy and fair economy in our industry. It is our main task in the exciting years ahead of us.”
It’s a good change, for sure, but there are already a bunch of problems with streaming services getting money to artists. It’s definitely a better alternative to piracy, but that’s really not saying much.