In an age where almost everything is available at the push of a button, illegal pirating has become an epidemic, almost impossible to control with films, music and even books now available in a matter of seconds online.
Data collecting firm Musicmetric, seen exclusively by the BBC, has given music mongrels an insight into patterns of illegal music downloading across the UK, Manchester being named the piracy capital with Sheffield and Leeds landing amounts the top ten. Their location specific search engine, allows us to explore a diverse range of music tastes that can be found across different regions of the UK. For example, Louis Armstrong tops the (illegal) charts in the Isle of Wight while here on the mainland Ed Sheeran reins supreme; other popular artists include Rhianna and Pitbull.
Musicmetric has analysed huge swathes of illegal downloads logging the approximate locations of users obtaining music using BitTorrent- a method of downloading which retrieves files from several locations at once. For the music industry this report makes for difficult reading, illegal downloads are making it extremely difficult for the music industry to track the progress of its records.
Globally, the research suggested that the UK is a significant player on the world stage as a country of illegal music downloaders. The country was placed second in the world in terms of pure volume of illegal activity; with Musicmetric logging 43,263,582 downloads in the first six months of this year.
The music industry is doing more than ever to offer the public more legal outlets to enjoy music for free online- with stores such as iTunes and streaming services such as Spotify proving popular, but there appears to still be a long way to go.