Ed Sheeran named as the most illegally downloaded music artist in Stoke-on-Trent
ED Sheeran is the most illegally downloaded music artist in Stoke-on-Trent, according to new figures released today.
The singer-songwriter’s recent album ‘Plus’ has been illegally downloaded an average of 469 times per month during the year, with the Potteries being ranked as the seventh worst place for music piracy in the UK.
The data, which is searchable by location, was gathered by music monitoring firm Musicmetric, who tracked those using interent BitTorrents, a method of downloading files from multiple users at the same time.
American singer Katy Perry also proved to be a hit with the Potteries pirates, who make on average 21,459 downloads per month, as did the music of Rihanna, who was also among the most popular artists in nearby Newcastle.
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Further afield, in Crewe and Cannock, Sheeran still proved the most popular artist, but Crewe residents downloaded a high number of tracks by multiple award winning artist Adele when compared to the UK average, while in Cannock 70’s rock band Thin Lizzy appear to be having something of a revival.
Jez Cusworth, who plays guitar with the band Yeah and She Has Red Lips Too, said the advent of the digital age was having a profound effect on the music industry.
The 30-year-old, who grew up in Hartshill but now lives in London, said: "There's a different way to make money now.
"You cannot do it by selling records so you have to be creative.
"You want people to hear and spread your music as much as they can so it kind of helps.
"Because the music industry is in a complete mess it means bands like us are not going to get paid until we're a lot bigger and can tour."
The release of the data comes as the Government seeks to crackdown on music piracy.
Measures such as restricting access to websites used by pirates have been considered but have also proved unpopular with online users and internet freedom campaigners who argue they can also be used for the legitimate sharing of non-copyrighted files.
The data estimated around 43 million illegal shares took place in the UK during the last six months, making it the second worst country in the world for illegal piracy, with the USA topping the pile with more than 96 million illegal shares.