Stream Ripping Is the Preferred Piracy Method of Young People: Report

Over a third of young listeners use it to illegally copy music
Stream Ripping Is the Preferred Piracy Method of Young People: Report
While a number of legal, relatively cost-effective options exist to stream music, piracy has not been stomped out entirely. According to a new study, it's very much alive and accepted amongst younger listeners who may not be overly familiar with the age of peer-to-peer downloading.

In its annual report on global music engagement, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) noted that 34 percent of music listeners between 16 and 24 years old use stream ripping apps or services to listen to music illegally. When all respondents of the study (ages 16 to 24) are factored in, the percentage of stream ripping users drops to 23 percent. 

For the uninitiated, the study describes stream ripping as "the illegal practice of creating a downloadable file from content that is available to stream online." It calls the practice "the most prevalent form of online music copyright infringement," and adds that it continues to "[jeopardize] the health of the music ecosystem."

The study also looks at copyright infringement on the whole, noting that 38 percent of the younger demographic had used illegal means of listening in the last month, while 27 percent of all age groups had used them.

Despite the piracy panic, IFPI's study also shows that numbers for legitimate streaming means continue to trend upwards. Older age groups are increasingly embracing streaming services; 54 percent of all global listeners between 35 and 64 years old had used one in the last month, up 8 percent from the 2018 study.

When it comes to the purchase of physical formats, vinyl record sales were highest amongst 25 to 34 year olds, while those aged 45 to 54 were the largest driver of CD sales.

IFPI's study also delves into radio broadcasting, listening devices and genres. You can read their report in full here.