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Top 20 Countries with the Most Illegal Music Downloads

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As the piracy saga continues with the “six strikes“ initiative coming soon to the United States and news that BMG is looking to cash in on $20 settlements with alleged file sharers, it's worth taking a look at just how big illegal file sharing really is these days. According to data collected by the monitoring firm Musicmetric, it's still pretty rampant, especially in the United States - which has more total files shared than anywhere else in the world by a huge margin.

The United States comes in first with 96.8 million total shares, which is more than double that of the runner up (the United Kingdom at 43.3 million). The data collected by monitoring firm Musicmetric (and published by the BBC) delivers the total number of torrent downloads over the past six months and the most popular shared artist in each country. 

The Top 20 Countries With The Most Illegal Music Downloads

1. United States: 96,868,398 (most popular artist: Drake)

2. United Kingdom: 43,314,568 (most popular artist: Ed Sheeran)

3. Italy: 33,226,258 (most popular artist: Laura Pausini)

4. Canada: 23,953,053 (most popular artist: Kayne West)

5. Brazil: 19,677,596 (most popular artist: Billy Van*)

6. Australia: 19,103,047 (most popular artist: Hilltop Hoods)

7. Spain: 10,306,829 (most popular artist: Pablo Alboran)

8. India: 8,965, 271 (most popular artist: Billy Van*)

9. France: 8,400,869 (most popular artist: Sexion d'assaut)

10. Philippines: 8,351,260 (most popular artist: Maroon 5)

11. Mexico: 7,522,865 (most popular artist: Jesse y Joy)

12. Netherlands: 6,671,428 (most popular artist: Birdy)

13. Portugal: 5,587,198 (most popular artist: Pablo Alboran)

14. Poland: 5,029,204 (most popular artist: Gotye)

15. Greece: 4,919,567 (most popular artist: Billy Van*)

16. Hungary: 4,470,948 (most popular artist: Pitbull)

17. Chile: 4,210,641 (most popular artist: Los Bunkers)

18. Romania: 4,152,252 (most popular artist: Billy Van*)

19. Sweden: 4,074,594 (most popular artist: Laleh)

20. Belgium: 3,880,900 (most popular artist: Gotye)

* Unlike others on this list, Billy Van allows his music to be downloaded via torrents and encourages donations from fans (see the case study here).


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