A leaked presentation from the RIAA shows that online file-sharing isn’t the biggest source of illegal music acquisition in the U.S. The confidential data reveals that 65% of all music files are “unpaid” but the vast majority of these are obtained through offline swapping. The report further shows that cyberlockers such as Megaupload are only a marginal source of pirated music.
In total, 15 percent of all acquired music (paid + unpaid) comes from P2P file-sharing and just 4 percent from cyberlockers. Offline swapping in the form of hard drive trading and burning/ripping from others is much more prevalent with 19 and 27 percent respectively.
This leads to the, for us, surprising conclusion that more than 70% of all unpaid music comes from offline swapping.