Stream Ripping: A Rising Threat for Music Companies
People have been bootlegging movies and music for almost half a century at this point.
Simply put, piracy is nothing new and the music industry has been fighting it for quite a while.
Author: Adam Ferraresi
Image Source: www.ifpi.org
And from time to time, the industry has managed to win some battles. For instance, last year, a federal judge shut down the infamous Mp3skull.com and even awarded more than $22 million to the companies that sued the site for copyright infringement.
However the war is not over not by a long shot.
The New Threat
Over the last ten years, streaming services like Spotify, Tidal and Apple music
have blossomed and naturally, so have different websites and smartphone apps
that enable users to create MP3 files from these streaming services.
Thus, stream ripping was born.
This practice involves turning a song (or even a video) played on one of these
streaming services into a permanent download. And as recent studies have shown,
its growing faster than anyone could predict a short few years ago among
And why is ripping so popular?
Partially because these apps and sites are extremely user-friendly, in fact,
most of them allow you to convert a song to an add-free MP3 with nothing more
than a few clicks. Also, these sites allow people to listen to basically any
song (or album) they want for free.
Just How Many People Are Ripping?
Whether youre aware of it or not, you probably know someone who regularly rips streaming sites.
As a matter of fact, according to the recently released Music Consumer Insider Report, in 2016, roughly 49% of web users aged between
16 and 24 years have used some form stream ripping software. Furthermore, the
number grew from 41% in 2015.
But this doesnt mean that only young people are ripping music from popular
streaming sites. The same report revealed that more than 30% of users of all
ages were doing it in 2016, which is a 10% increase over 2015.
And if the trend continues to grow, a vast majority of Internet users will
be ripping music from streams by the end of the decade.
Are There Any Preventive Measures?
All of this is worrying to say the least, mostly because the music industry has already lost more than 60% of its value in little over 15 years. Now the biggest question is what can authorities do to prevent this practice?
Unfortunately, theres not much anyone can do about it. In the past, some
experts were able to trace unauthorized music online; this has become much harder
in the last few years.
The problem is, young people arent that naïve, most of them are
aware that what they are doing isnt legal. Thats why; most of them
are hiding behind
VPNs and other encrypting software that allows them to go under the radar.
Finally you have the fact that there are is no infringing content to discover
and eliminate, because the ripping targets legitimate files, rips and creates
illegal copies in the process.
Why Are So Many People Ripping Music?
Some people are, naturally, consciously ripping new music, however, it seems
like many offenders simply dont realize they are doing something wrong.
Most anti-piracy experts are convinced this is the main reason why stream ripping
has gained so much traction recently.
And research is there to back up their claims. Just look at last years
report, which revealed that around 73% of people who are using illegal ripping
apps and sites assume their actions are completely legitimate.
Its hard to convince people who grew up in the age of sites like LimeWire
and Napster to pay money for music. And since most of these ripping apps can
found the App Store, most users assume that they are 100% legitimate, authorized
Ripping is now the 3rd most popular form of piracy only behind torrenting and illegal streaming according to the latest Global Piracy Report. The report also reveals that last year, stream ripping sites had around 6.2 billion visits.
Lastly, popular search engines like Google and Bing are directly responsible for most of these visits. Actually, Google alone is responsible for more than 3 billion of visits last year.
By Adam Ferraresi
Adam loves his job in web development and it shows from his articulate and informing articles published on wefollowtech.com. He lives in Dallas, loves his job, his friends and all the food in the world. Adam is 23, but still loves to play basketball like when he was 16.