Piracy eats up 5.2% of music sales in the EU

The European music industry lost €57 million in physical sales to piracy in 2014. [Antonio Tajuelo/Flickr]

In 2014, the European music industry lost 5.2% of its total annual sales to piracy, according to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).  EURACTIV Spain reports.

A recent report has revealed that CD piracy cost the EU’s music industry €57 million in lost sales in 2014, while digital piracy cost the industry €113 million. These figures are equal to 2.9% and 8.8% of total sales respectively.

This report, published on 24 May, was carried out by the EU’s observatory on infringements of intellectual property rights (EUIPO) using data from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which represents music recording and licencing companies around the world.

The report’s authors analysed the direct sales of musical products created by the record industry to retailers or intermediaries and excluded sales by distributors like online platforms.

Piracy, the quiet killer of the EU’s cultural industries

The European creative economy shrank between 2008 and 2011 due to inadequate measures to combat piracy. EURACTIV France reports

With sales of €150 million, the Spanish record business suffered the biggest hit from piracy in the EU, losing 8.8% of total sales. Germany, which at €1.3 billion has the EU’s biggest market in this sector, lost the equivalent of 3.07% of its total sales to piracy.

More than half of all sales

The United Kingdom’s music industry made sales of €1.1 billion and lost 4.45% of the total due to piracy.

According to EUIPO, Germany and the United Kingdom together accounted for more than half of all physical and digital music sales in the EU in 2014.

France’s €700 million music industry lost 3.7% of its sales to piracy, while Sweden’s much smaller €167 million industry lost 7.4%.

For the EUIPO’s executive director António Campinos, the results of this study “are in line with the prevailing consensus and find that piracy reduces the revenue of legitimate industry in both digital and physical formats”.

This report was the seventh in a series of analyses of various sectors aimed at quantifying the effects of piracy on the European economy.

Subscribe to our newsletters