The news is out. Rolling Stone magazine reports the top downloaded music industry idols for 2013. Rihanna and Bruno Mars have garnered the most attention from fans online. However, illegal downloads mar the accolades. According to Musicmetric, the pop icons had over five million misappropriations. They aren’t the only ones. The analytic service cites the likes of Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, and Eminem as recipients of pirated music misdoing.
Streaming music is a big business that is unfortunately no longer as lucrative as it used to be. Year after year, losses mount due to illegal downloads. For example, in 2012 Canadian-based Drake had the dubious distinction of being the most pirated artist that year with The Motto. Spin, a source of music-industry data, also reported that the joint album by Jay Z and Kanye West—Watch the Throne—ranked high for unpaid downloads with a total of 70,000. The impact has been significant and will likely continue in force.
What can be done? Music moguls have tried to curb the tide of violations with little success. Now it’s Beyoncé who has been affected. Her self-titled new album was a hit: but in the wrong manner. Within a few days of its initial release, it had around 240,000 unwarranted downloads. The public seems oblivious to the monetary consequences. They just want free music.