Illicit internet filesharing is on the decline in the UK, if new research is to be believed.
Statistics established by research groups Music Ally and The Leading Question suggest that more internet users are turning from torrent files to legal alternatives.
The groups state that, in January, around 17 per cent of consumers were sharing music illegally online, compared to 22 per cent in December 2007.
Young adults in particular were shown to be backing away from illegal downloads. 42 per cent of consumers aged from 14-18 had illicitly consumed music online in December 2007, while that figure stood at 26 per cent thirteen months later.
It may be considered misleading that the research groups have reported differences between two months of the year that carry such a striking contrast in buying mentalities – one being a month for Christmas and long-awaited product releases; the other being a month where many entertainment markets take a huge dive, duein part to a lack of new products.
However, the filesharing statistics appear to coincide with the rise of legal alternatives such as music streaming services.
Music Ally and The Leading Question say that some 31 per cent of surveyed teenage consumers had been using streaming music services on their PCs on a daily basis.
“Kids find services like YouTube much more convenient for checking out new music than filesharing,” said Music Ally CEO Paul Brindley.
“But even YouTube can become a source of piracy with some kids ripping YouTube videos and turning them into free MP3 downloads," he added.
The study was based on an online questionnaire given out to 1000 music fans.