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The effects of music piracy on producers

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Written by: Matt Lillywhite

With many people wishing to download media content for free, music piracy has been on the rise over the past few years. With the ability to hurt both emerging and established artists, the damage is often a lot worse than people tend to think. In this article, we’re going to discuss how music piracy is affecting the music industry and the knock-on effects that artists have to deal with as a result.

The impact of music piracy on established producers is often a lot easier to put a number on. After all, with the major record labels having access to technology that allows them to track illegal streams or downloads, they estimate that potentially billions of dollars in revenue has been lost as a result of music piracy. But even with upcoming producers, the effects are still substantial. Whether it’s a song leak, news leak (such as collaborations), or a simple case of a user re-uploading an album, it can do a lot of harm to those on the verge of becoming successful within the music industry.

Large media platforms such as YouTube are often considered the platform of choice for “pirates” wanting to upload illegal music. It could be a song, an entire album, or even unreleased music. Whatever the case, it’s certainly easy to agree that the simplification of media distribution has allowed music piracy to flourish even more than before. Let’s take an example in which a producer’s song is uploaded, and then re-titled to make it seem like it’s an unreleased song from two famous producers. Due to the likelihood of the producer’s music being free to use on YouTube, the pirate can monetize the video – and subsequently profit from these horrific actions.

In this scenario, a song by a producer named “Bouy” was retitled to be a collaboration between Marshmello, Avicii and Hardwell. As a result of the video getting over a million views, the channel that illegally uploaded the song gained several thousand dollars in revenue.

Some Independent artists and producers are struggling to make a career due to the loss of revenue from music piracy. This exact loss of income prevents producers from re-investing financial resources into their career – causing them to potentially not be as successful as they should be. With (often) thousands of dollars behind the marketing campaign of a song, it is horrific to learn of the practices being used by music pirates. After all, the only thing they care about is profiting illegally from a music producers career.

What a lot of people don’t seem to realize is that music piracy affects the livelihood of a music producer. With a lot of people within the music industry trying to convert their passion into their full-time source of income, the practice of illegally downloading a song is basically stealing their product. With the artist not being compensated, the chances of them being able to sustain a career within the music industry are significantly reduced. Whether it’s an iTunes download, a Spotify stream, or a ticket to the gig, every legitimate way of supporting an artist is greatly appreciated by themselves and their team.



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