News October 27, 2015

Music piracy witnesses decline, Spotify tells Public Forum

Fresh Australia-focused analysis from Spotify has shown that online music piracy declined 20% in the 12 months from Dec 2012 to Dec 2013.

Unveiled at the government’s Copyright – Online Infringement public forum in Sydney last night, Spotify’s Director of Economics Will Page explained that casual file-sharers (of music) are dropping off, even though the hard-core base remains relatively unchanged.

Page also revealed a likely unsurprising statistic that TV/film piracy in Australia, during that time frame, was four times higher than piracy traffic generated by music files (and this period didn’t include the US airing of Game of Thrones).

Page says, “It’s exciting to see that we are making in-roads into reducing the music piracy problem within such a short space of time in this market. It shows the scope for superior legal services (offered at an accessible price point) to help improve the climate for copyright online.”

“Let’s be clear, Australia still faces a massive challenge in turning around its much talked about media piracy challenge, and it always has, and always will, take a combination of public policy and superior legal offerings,” he adds.

Working with analytics company MusicMetric, Spotify completed an extensive study of piracy on Bit Torrent sites in Australia. The full findings from the report will be unveiled at Page’s BigSound keynote tomorrow, where The Music Network will be reporting live.

Page met with Malcolm Turnball ahead of the forum to discuss his findings. You can view a short clip of that meeting here.

Last night’s public forum did little to paint a clearer picture about the route government will take to help stem piracy.

Panellists, ranging from Jane Van Beelen, Executive Director, Telstra; Peter Duncan, Writer/Producer; David Buckingham, Chief Executive Officer, iiNet Limited; Richard Freudenstein, Chief Executive Officer, Foxtel; Brett Cottle, Chief Executive Officer, APRA AMCOS; Alan Kirkland, Chief Executive Officer, Choice and Graham Burke, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Village Roadshow naturally had differing opinions and agendas.

Google, which has come under repeated fire by the music industry, was given its moment in the spotlight, when its spokesperson Ishtar Vij spoke from the audience side. “Content owners do need to control their content online but it can’t compromise the ecosystem. The discussion being proposed [would hurt] new business models….Rather than put at risk services, we want to go with things that work. Follow the money works around the globe and the industry has expressed that as favourable,” she says. “That means to cut off the financial incentive of pirates.”

A full moment by moment rundown of the event can be seen here at Gizmodo.


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