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UK Teenagers Flocking To Online Streaming Websites, Abandon File Sharing

Owing to a massive rise in the number of online streaming services, illicit file sharing across the internet has plunged significantly during the past year, according to a survey.

A survey of 1,000 teenagers across the UK, carried out by the digital music firm Music Ally in conjunction with The Leading Question, revealed that many users have given up illegal file downloading and switching on to online streaming sites, including Spotify and YouTube, to access media content (ed: Youtube doesn't necessarily carry legal content).

Incidentally, only 17 percent of the respondents have reportedly been sharing music illicitly over the web, which is considerably lower in comparison to 22 percent in December 2007.

Furthermore, the decline is even more pronounced amongst 14-18 years old teens, where the figures dived from 42 percent to 26 percent over a year's time.

Moreover, 65 percent of the respondents said that they stream music tracks on a regular basis, with as many as 31 percent of the teens are reportedly accessing streaming tracks almost everyday, the survey added.

Commenting upon the findings, Paul Brindley, chief exec for Music Ally said, "Kids find services like YouTube much more convenient for checking out new music than filesharing. But even YouTube can become a source of piracy with some kids ripping YouTube videos and turning them into free MP3 downloads".

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Our Comments

Is this good news? Not necessarily, while UK teenagers are moving away from pure P2P, they are doing so mainly because the number of streaming websites is rising steadily and streaming content is always easier than downloading THEN listening to the content. At the end of the day, it is more about convenience rather than sheer respect of the law.

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Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.