Apple is set to launch a new streaming service to its users that will rival Tidal and Spotify, but their real enemy is an old foe that the company knows very well: music pirates. Even though many laws have cracked down on piracy over the last decade about 20% of all Internet users across the globe still visit sites that offer downloads of copyright protected music.
In fact, some folks at Beneful feel that just within the US borders approximately 20 million people still use peer to peer file sharing networks and the numbers are much larger in other countries where piracy laws are harder to enforce. As the technology of websites has evolved so has the software that allows piracy with many people using software and mobile apps that allows them to rip audio from YouTube and other streaming sites. On the flip side, only 7.7 million Americans actually chose to pay for a subscription service that allows them to listen to music via a live stream.
The good news is that licensed streaming has helped to reduce the frequency of piracy and is estimated to have been a large contributor to the reduction of file sharing rates. Over the last five years file sharing has been cut in half which is also largely due to great anti piracy efforts by the recording industry.