Illegal P2P Song Downloads Dropped 26 Percent In 2012

Information firm NPD's annual study on online music use credits the drop with the popularity of free streaming services and successful industry litigation, among other reasons.

What's the Latest Development?

In its annual Music Study released this week, global information firm The NPD Group reports that both online and offline music file sharing dropped significantly in 2012, with the number of songs illegally shared via peer-to-peer (P2P) services down by 26 percent. Forty percent of people surveyed said that they had either stopped or reduced their use of P2P services. In addition, the report indicated marked decreases in sharing of files ripped from friends' CDs, passed between hard drives, and downloaded from digital lockers.

What's the Big Idea?

Half of those who stopped or reduced their illegal download activity cited the availability of free streaming services as one reason, according to NPD. Site shutdown was another reason, pointing to the success of the music industry's litigation efforts. There was also the inherent risk involved in using P2P sites, NPD senior vice president Russ Crupnick said in a statement: "Many of those who continued to use [them] reported poor experiences, due to rampant spyware and viruses on illegal P2P sites."

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