Illegal Music Downloads Fall Below 10 Percent 
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Written by Dick Ward   
Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The music industry got some amazing news today when the NPD Group revealed that illegal downloads done through file sharing websites has dropped down below 10 percent - that's the lowest it's been in years. The average number of tracks downloaded by each user was 35 in 2007.  That's the equivalent of three or four albums. 

In the last quarter of 2010 the average per user was just 18 tracks.  It's a significant decrease, but the reason for the change hasn't been fully explored. "It will be interesting to see if services like Frostwire and Bittorrent take up the slack left by Limewire, or if peer-to-peer music downloaders instead move on to other modes of acquiring or listening to music," says NPD analyst Russ Crupnick.

One reason for the change could be the availability of inexpensive alternatives to buying individual CDs.  Subscription services like Zune Pass and Qriocity and free options like and Pandora could certainly account for former pirates going legit. With the decline in music piracy, it will be interesting to see if the same thing is reported for movies. 

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