“It seems that people just aren’t pirating music the way they used to,” Alex Knapp reports for Forbes. “In many cases, because they don’t have to. That’s according to the NPD Group, which just released their ‘Annual Music Study 2012.'”

“That report shows that the number of music files being illegally downloaded was 26% less in 2012 than in 2011,” Knapp reports. “What’s more, 40% of the people surveyed in the study who said that they’d illegally downloaded in 2011 did not do so in 2012.”

Knapp reports, “So what’s responsible for this massive reduction in piracy? According to the survey, it’s not stepped-up enforcement – it’s the availability of free music via streaming services like Spotify. Nearly half of the people who had stopped or sharply reduced their music downloading cited those services as the reason for stopping… 20% of users reported that they’d stopped illegally downloading music either because their favorite site was shut down, or because the sites that are around now are so underground that they’re filled with viruses and spyware.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Music sales grow for first time since 1999 – February 26, 2013
Nielsen: More U.S. teens listen to music via YouTube than iTunes, CDs, or radio – August 14, 2012
Gartner says worldwide online music revenue on record pace in 2011 – November 9, 2011
Jon Bon Jovi: ‘Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business’ – March 14, 2011