Music Festivals Increase Online Piracy

A study has found a spike in activity after some festival performances - but could these researchers have an ulterior motive?

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A new study has found that music festivals cause a surge in music piracy.

The research conducted by Spotify claims that festival goers tend to return from festivals and seek out music from artists they like - but if it isn't available on streaming services, they'll seek out illegal alternatives, according to CBR Online.

Spotify, who obviously have an interest in promoting streaming services, say that artists who aren't available on their network will suffer the effects of piracy if they delay streaming their music.

In the study, an analysis found some examples of torrents spiking immediately after festival performances, though they admit further research is needed.

"Explanations for these spikes merits further study, but one intuitive driver is instant gratification," said Spotify. "Academics and policy makers who are researching this topic may want to consider other events such as awards and talent shows to see if similar spikes occur."

Spotify was recently the target of a protest by Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and producer Nigel Godrich. The pair removed their side-project Atoms for Peace from the service to raise awareness that new artists get a bad deal compared to major labels.

"The massive amount of catalogue being streamed guarantees that they get the big massive slice of the pie (that $500 million) and the smaller producers and labels get pittance for their comparatively few streams. This is what's wrong," said Godrich.

23 comments sorted by best / new / date

    In other news, grass is green.
    We have always observed grass. That doesn't mean the naming of the color green and thus, grass as green wasn't somewhat interesting. When we studied grass and found out what it was made of, grass was still green, but we learned something new. Unless the article goes 'Spotify's logo is green', there is no need to undermine research, even if it confirms a previous hunch. That's like saying 'why are we trying to measure space? We already know it's big.'
    Pick 'n' Finger
    IMHO, Spotify is that element that was a main argument of downloaders: you can listen to some songs before buying the album. I'll give you two examples from my life: 1. I like the Songs Witchcraft and Self vs. Self by Pendulum (I found them being played at breaks in shows on twitch, Soundhound and Shazam did it's job there), so I listened to the whole Immersion album per Spotify and decided, that I don't like the other songs, so I didn't buy it. I simply bought both songs and everything was cool. 2. A friend of mine told me about Soilwork's The Living Infinite so I went to Spotify, took some hours and listened to the whole Album. I decided that I liked it and bought it on iTunes afterwards. For me, as a broke student, it's impossible to buy every album you heard of being good. Spotify makes it possible to try out music, before you buy it. I don't own a subscription, since it sucks not to have an Equalizer. Topic: Spotify, one doesn't make a study to promote oneself, that is overly dumb!
    Sounds like a recruitment drive by Spotify to me. I would rather just keep giving my music away for free than ever host it on that POS site.
    Spotify a 'site'? Shows how well informed you are.
    Spotify is a site, my "well informed" neighbour. Even the application is writen as a site, simply launched externally to a browser, although of course, were you aware of Spotify's many access points, you would know it is fully accessible from their website, as it's easier for many, and I imagine very likely to become the more popular choice for using.
    Obviously sales went up as well though, but i dont see an article on this!
    Take note RIAA. In order to stop piracy, You must ban festivals since there is clearly a link between the two
    Although I see the issue of piracy it can be a positive thing, downloading spreads the music more and makes more people aware..... Those people will go to the shows and buy the merch, most of them I think.
    Sound legit. A company does it's own "study" and lo and behold, discovers more people need their service or something bad...maybe.
    Do industry executives think people are really this dumb?! "Online piracy increases when people go to a festival" Oh really? Is it maybe because people want to check out bands? And of course lets leave the little fact that sales of official means of acquiring music increase as well. And oh dear Spotify's traffic also. Not to mention the artists that play in those festivals get money from their show anyway, more than they get from their record deals or Spotify's deals even. But who cares? As long as we make surveys and present their results only partially to "trick" people. And honestly UG, why those so obviously baiting titles? Just because Spotify is trying its worst to intimidate artists into signing-up with them doesn't mean you have to trail behind to gather some drama leftovers. Just write a proper title.
    I think that's normal : you go to a festival, discover new bands, download their studio album to check if they're as good as in live to see if it's worth buying CD. I did it with between the buried and me and unisonic.
    I never looked into Spotify or similar services but the idea doesn't appeal to me. Perhaps cause I don't download music. I feel like one of the few who doesn't use Spotify. Someone care to explain the benefits? I still buy albums cause I want something tangible. You get the artwork, booklet, and most of all: the music in lossless quality instead of those crappy MP3s with no life in them. People with good speakers will know...
    it's good for trying albums before you buy them and for checking out new bands. i have it and still buy CDs...
    link no1
    You know what else is good for that and doesn't cost me a penny? Youtube. I don't see a reason to use spotify instead of buying the actual album.
    and no i don't use it instead of buying the albums, as i already said i still get CDs. mostly of the stuff i hear on spotify that i like the most.
    well obviously there's youtube but it doesn't give you the whole album like spotify does as if you had it on itunes or whatever you use. easier on the bandwidth use as it's just audio as well, better quality audio too. i thought the same as you before i had it but it is a good service, to just have the albums there so conveniently is great.
    The way I see it is that smaller bands don't really care wether or not they make money at the beginning, but rather that their music shared to be noticed. The more people who know of the band, the more likely it is that someone is going to buy their music or attend their shows.