With the substantiation of the streaming era and the sharing economy came expectations regarding piracy and music ownership, but a recent study by MusicWatch points to rather surprising trends in music consumption.

"The migration to access was supposed to eliminate the need (and desire) for owning music," said Russ Crupnick, chief researcher at MusicWatch. "But consumers disagree… some expressed concerns about data usage but ownership is a higher priority. This is not surprising as our other studies point to continued perceived value in possessing a song or album."

MusicWatch recently released data showing that in 2015, a whopping 57 million Americans - about 1 in 5 of the 280 million online - accessed illegal music files regularly through BitTorrent, storage lockers, ‘streamripping,’ P2P, hard drive swaps and illegal streaming apps.

These music pirates are not entirely opposed to paying for music though. The data showed that 35 percent of people who did purchase music last year also accessed at least one song through an illegal source.

The most shocking findings were the fact that music pirates actually spent more on music than the average per capita in the US and many of them were found to pay subscriptions for streaming platforms like Spotify Premium. The average per-capita that is spent on music annually in the US is $19, while music thieves were reported to spend an average of $33 on downloads or CDs every year. This is still lower than the per capita for regular music buyers, which is $43.

The fact that piracy isn't going anywhere (rather, it's increasing) and that ownership and offline access remain a priority are further evidenced by the rise of streamripping and "The Kanye Effect" as Digital Music News calls it. More and more consumers - nearly 50 percent between late 2013 and early 2015 - are downloading tunes from YouTube using online converters, while the release of Kanye's album Life of Pablo exclusively to paid subscribers of Tidal led to a surge of BitTorrent downloads, nearly 500,000 in the first day alone. This type data, therefore, suggests that streaming subscriptions will never be the end-all, be-all.

On the other hand, Live Nation Entertainment recently announced its fifth consecutive record-breaking year reporting $7.6 in revenue. On-site advertising, festival attendance and global gross ticket transaction value all saw significant increases in the last 12 months.

"Live is a truly unique entertainment form—it cannot be duplicated. It is elevated, not threatened by technology and is borderless. Fans around the world can now discover, follow, share and embrace artists, creating greater demand for live shows... This, combined with an ongoing shift of consumer spending towards experiences, is helping drive the structural increase in demand for concerts globally." - Live Nation

What would be truly interesting to see is how much these music pirates are each spending on live experiences because concerts are making more money than ever. As Quartz poignantly says...

"As the world moves toward digital records and de-personalized music streaming, it seems fans are starting to miss the emotional connections with their favorite artists, and they’re picking up those lost relationships with live events."

Read more about the MusicWatch study and quotes from Crupnick at http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2016/02/26/57-mill...

Source: DigitalMusicNews

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About the Author

Jamie Lamberski Senior Editor I'm a storyteller at heart, but music makes my world go round.

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