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The fifth annual survey by Ovum publication Music & Copyright of online music distribution through unauthorized music sites and services has found little change to the status quo.


  • Music piracy and the unauthorized distribution of music have long since faded from the headlines. However, despite the lack of media attention, it would be quite wrong to suggest that unauthorized access to recorded music online is not still a big problem for the industry.
  • Blocking access to copyright infringing websites is a major part of national music trade associations’ attempts to limit unlicensed content distribution.
  • The number of brands visible on pirate music sites appears to have fallen and changes in the way a free download is served by some of the unlicensed services has meant advertising agencies and big brands have limited their visible association with the pirates. However, brands are still continuing to unwittingly fund the pirate sites.

Features and Benefits

  • Provides a full assessment of the current online music piracy situation and the part played by major brands in funding the piracy operations
  • Details website blocking efforts by music trade associations to reduce the illegal distribution of music content.

Key questions answered

  • How many websites have been blocked globally to prevent illegal content distribution?
  • How are brands unwittingly providing funds to online pirate music services?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view

Market status

  • Unauthorized access to digital music is still a major problem

Website blocking

  • Cutting off access to unlicensed distributors


  • YouTube and Soundcloud serve the streamrippers

Brand support

  • Big brand advertising funding the unlicensed sites
  • Getting round the pirate site blacklists

Cutting the funding

  • Advertising initiatives to reduce pirate funding

Prospects for change

  • Holding back the rising tide
  • The Google factor remains ever-present


  • Author

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