Apple Music and Spotify are finally wiping out illegal downloads in the UK

Music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music have almost halved illegal downloads in the last five years, according to a new survey.

In a YouGov poll of more than 4,000 UK adults, only 10% of Brits copped to downloading music from illegitimate sources. That’s compared to 18% when the same survey was carried out in 2013. Of those pirates, many of whom are using stream ripping services to acquire the tracks, 22% said they planned to go straight within the next five years.

The fall is naturally down to streaming services ‘filling the void’, as one respondent put it. A total of 44% of those surveyed said they’d only download the music illegally if it wasn’t available from legit sources.

However, the increased difficultly of finding illegal download sources is also contributing to the fall, with 35% of Brits surveyed claiming access was proving difficult these days.

Related: Spotify vs Apple Music

YouGov Associate Director Justin Marshall said in a statement: “While illegal downloads still present a significant challenge to the music industry, there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel. Our research reveals a change in behaviour, with those that previously attained music by unlawful means now being enticed by the low costs and ease of use associated with streaming.

“Simply put, many don’t feel they need to go to the same lengths to acquire the music they want, now they have it at their fingertips. Whether or not streaming is what finally banishes illegal downloads remains to be seen, but there are encouraging signs.”

As to be expected, exclusive releases are a bone of contention for Brits using streaming services. More than half of the people surveyed expressed frustration with releases like Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s Everything is Love launching exclusively on Tidal.

Did the arrival of streaming services end your quest to access music from illegal sources? Share your story with us @TrusteReviews on Twitter.

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