PRS Explores

PRS Explores delves into new online music piracy trends

Want to learn more about new trends in online music piracy and how the industry can safeguard creative content online? Don’t miss the next PRS Explores session…

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 10 Apr 2018
  • min read
Emerging trends in music piracy will be put under the microscope by a panel of industry, government and tech experts at the next PRS for Music Explores session.

As piracy evolves away from ad-funded models, which are traceable via ‘follow the money’ crackdown initiatives, pirates are moving towards crypto-currencies such as bitcoin to turn a profit.

This new revenue source is much harder to police, and pirate streaming and download sites are able to extract value from the unlicensed music they provide users while leaving no trace.

This session will gather panellists including Mark Mulligan (MIDiA Research), Steve Salway (City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit), Helen Saunders (INCOPRO) and Simon Bourn (PRS for Music) to examine the trend.

They will assess recent developments and future advances, and discuss ways the music industry can find workable solutions to better safeguard creative content online.

Mulligan will also deliver an overview of the current global infringement situation, while Saunders will share the latest INCOPRO data on music piracy in the UK.

The session takes place on 19 April at PRS for Music, Kings Cross, London, from 5.30pm. Places are free but strictly limited. To reserve your seat, visit

The session follows recent research from global piracy authority MUSO that the use of pirate music sites ‘dramatically surged’ to 73.9 billion in 2017 – up 14.7 percent from 2016.

Using data from tens of thousands of the largest global piracy sites, the research suggests that online piracy is ‘more popular than ever’, with an overall recorded total of 300 billion visits to piracy sites last year.

The top three visits per country came from the United States, India and Brazil, while the UK came in at number ten, with nine billion visits.

Last year, PRS for Music and the Intellectual Property Office researched the virulent online piracy practice of stream-ripping. Read their findings here.