YouTube Music Video Views Prove The Future Is Online As Music Piracy Begins To Tail Off

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PiratesYouTube is helping beat music piracy by offering a free and legal alternative. The users get the content they desire, while the record labels and artists get paid. Surely that shows the way things need to develop in the future.

YouTube Beats Piracy

Downloads of music over BitTorrent are falling, a trend that must be music to the ears of record label executives. There are obviously still large communities out there sharing music in this way, but the more-casual downloader appears to have found alternatives.

One of those alternatives is YouTube, an online destination where almost every new song, and most old ones as well, are available to listen to free and legally. It may be the officials video released through Vevo, a literal music video, or simply a still of the artist with the audio playing over the top. It doesn’t matter to those seeking to hear a particular track.

Building Relationships


has to pay each time a track is played on YouTube, half a penny a pop is the guesstimation. With some artists having their videos played hundreds of millions of times this means serious revenue for the record labels.

There are also other free and legal alternatives, such as Spotify and Pandora, both of which have built legitimate relationships with the major record labels by paying for the content they stream.

I’m sure there is a lesson to be learned here.

A Lesson To Be Learned

The lesson is, of course, that the way to tackle piracy of any kind is to offer legal alternatives that are either free or cheap enough the average Internet user won’t have to re-mortgage their house to have the pleasure.

There are signs the television and movie industries are cottoning on to this undeniable fact. Disney is trying to ensure all its content is available online through its own portals, no doubt to try and avoid people automatically heading down the piracy route to obtain it. But it’s not enough, and it’s not happening fast enough. And until it does, piracy will continue to flourish.

Studios want to be paid for their content, and as long as they are then they’re happy.


I’m not for a second suggesting piracy will disappear. It probably never will, and if it did it would take years to get there. But changing it from a mainstream activity to one undertaken only by the very committed would be a major win. And it’s all about offering alternatives.