MoneySupermarket and Opinium examine Spotify’s effect on Piracy

In the aftermath of the MORI poll about music piracy, consumer advice site Moneysupermarket have commissioned their own piece of research, conducted by Opinium research in an online poll of 2,319 British adults between Friday 5th June and Tuesday 9th June 2009. The full resutls aren’t available online, but here’s MS’s take on the results:

Napster and LimeWire have been havens for illegal downloaders in the past, but the introduction of Spotify*, a free music download site, is curbing the habits of illegal downloaders.

* 30 per cent of under twenties admit to illegal downloading
* Spotify encourages two in three Brits to curb their illegal downloading habits

Almost two thirds (62 per cent) of those who admit to illegally downloading, say using Spotify has encouraged them to reduce the amount they download illegally or kick the habit altogether.

The survey** from the leading price comparison website on downloading and streaming also showed that one in eight Brits (12 per cent) admit to download illegally in the past six months.

Illegal downloading is worst amongst men (16 per cent compared to 9 per cent of women) and the younger generation, with 30 per cent of those under 20 admitting to illegal downloading.

James Parker, broadband manager at, said: “The number of people looking for unlimited broadband packages is rising, which is an indicator that downloading and streaming are becoming a bigger part of online behavior.

“Downloading music used to be mainly associated with illegal sites such as the old Napster, but now over a quarter (27 per cent) of people say they go to a digital source as first port of call; usually iTunes or Amazon.

“With Spotify joining the ranks of legal music sites, illegal downloading seems set to become much less popular. With the new Spotify iPhone application and the new ‘Monkey’ tariff from Orange, which allows users to stream music from the orange site as part of the tariff, it will be interesting to see how these new mobile music services take-off. Streaming music for free or for a reasonable fee whilst on the move could spell the end for illegal downloading and could even send the CD the way of the mini-disc and cassette tape.”

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