Apr 19, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Spotify Aims to Curb Music Piracy With Entrance Into Brazil Market

Jul 23, 2014 09:29 PM EDT

Piracy in the music industry became a problem with the growth in popularity of the Internet, but one company has been successful in quashing that trend.

Spotify launched in Brazil, conveniently just before the FIFA World Cup, in May and hopes to cause a decline in pirated music as it has done in other countries, Gary Liu, head of Spotify labs told Zdnet.

Reports since 2011 have shown that the Swedish-based company, which launched in 2009, is responsible for a more than 25 percent decline in pirated music in its home country, according to blog Torrent Freak.

"People tend to do whatever is easier and cheaper. Our objective is to build a product that has the same cost of the pirated product - free - but easier and better," Liu told delegates at YouPix, according to Zdnet.

Similar declines in piracy were reported in the neighboring country of Norway, after a Norwegian research group revealed their numbers in June 2013, according to The Telegraph.

The report in Norway showed that more than 1 billion songs were copied illegally in 2008, and four years later it was less than 20 percent of that number, about 210 million.

Part of the success of Spotify rests on its integration with Facebook, allowing users to see what their friends are listening to and share their own music preferences, according to a blog post at Cornell University.

Brazil has been one of the top priorities of the music police dating back to 2004.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industries' (IFPI) named Brazil a priority country because 60 percent of their CDs or cassettes were pirated, according to BBC.

In 2004 the pirate market in Brazil was estimated at $166 million.

But some critics claim that the musicians in Brazil and China encourage pirated music.

A post in the blog Techdirt states, "They don't just look the other way, they actively encourage it. Musicians burn their own CDs and rush them down to street vendors, begging them to sell them (without the musicians getting any cut at all). Those musicians also upload MP3s and email them to popular DJs who make mixtapes (similar to the US hiphop mixtapescene)."

Spotify also faces technical challenges in Brazil, according to Zdnet.

Though the required download speeds are available, about 90 percent of Internet users see frequent disruptions in service, and only 43 percent of the population has access to broadband.

And Spotify launched well after international competitors were already in Brazil, including Rdio and Deezer as well as Vivo Música, a service offered by Telefonica Vivo in Brazil in partnership with Napster, according to Zdnet.

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