Around a quarter of internet users in the UK still access content such as music and films illegally, according to the latest research from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

According to the IPO's survey, conducted from March to May 2015, 62 per cent of UK internet users have at some point downloaded or streamed music, TV shows, films, videogames or e-books - up from 56 per cent in 2013.

Although there was a 10 per cent increase in people accessing content through legal services such as Spotify and Netflix, one in five consumers still access some content illegally.

The average quarterly spend on downloading and streaming content ranged from £6.68 for TV programmes up to £20.28 for music. The most common reasons given for illegally accessing content were it's free (49 per cent) and convenient (43 per cent).


Other key findings of the report include:

• 15.6 million UK internet users accessed music online. 12 million people streamed music and 10.5 million users downloaded music.

• YouTube, Amazon and Spotify were the top platforms used for downloading and streaming, with 54 per cent of all music streaming and downloads accessed via YouTube.

• 26 per cent of users admitted to accessing music content illegally.

More after the break

• 10 million UK internet users have accessed films online.

• Netflix, Amazon and YouTube were the top platforms for film downloads and streaming, with Netflix accounting for 44 per cent of all activity

• 25 per cent of users accessed some film content illegally.

• 15 million UK internet users have accessed a TV programme online.

• BBC iPlayer, YouTube and ITV Player were the top platforms, with iPlayer accounting for 62 per cent of viewing.

• 21 per cent of users admitted they had accessed some TV content illegally.

MORE: Copying CDs and DVDs is illegal again



chebby's picture

Then there is the broad,

Then there is the broad, honest mass of users who pay for their content but now find they are still being illegal when backing up their system to an external drive, or who rip a (paid for) CD to their iTunes to play when jogging for instance.

It's becoming increasingly difficult (and expensive) to be lawful, in all respects, when consuming audio and video content that you've actually bought.

Perhaps if the studios and record labels actually made all of their output to at least an acceptable level of quality then less people would want to steal stuff.

How's this for arrogance (from's terms and conditions) ...

"However, Audible does not warrant that product descriptions or content available through the Audible Service is accurate, complete, reliable, current, or error-free." 

In other words no warranty if their content is faulty once you've paid for and downloaded it!


Alan Wheater's picture

Music and Video Piracy.

If the mega rich music and film fat cats priced their products more reasonably I think a lot of consumers would be willing to pay for the products.

CD's are nearly a thing of the past, and look at how the price has dropped in the bargain shops now the demand has waned, but for the years of healthy CD sales, the price of the average CD was around £12 which was artificially high and kept that way by the big media companies making hay while the sun shined...mega profits, the same can be said for games systems (hardware and software) and DVD's.

I have absolutely no sympathy for these greedy companies who shift the price according to supply and demand and I have no scruples about accessing content on the internet when it is freely available...the fat cats have had it too good for too's payback time!!

MattEssex's picture

Just make content easily available!

I used to be a heavy downloader of content but I now make as much use of my Netflix, nowtv and spotify (switched to Apple music but will continue to pay family plan after free period) subscription, but even still I have to use the American Netflix to get a good enough selection. We just want content and lot's of it, I don't even have an aerial plugged in or a satelite service any more. 

The studios just seem not to want to give us an easy way to give them money without feeling ripped off.