Piracy in the UK rose in the three months to the end of January 2013 according to a new Ofcom study, which suggests that almost 400 million music, TV programmes and/or film files were streamed or downloaded illegally in the quarter.
The report said that around 18%, or one in six, of internet users aged 12 and over accessed digital entertainment illegally – up from 16% in Ofcom’s previous quarterly report.
The rise in piracy comes alongside a boost in the proportion of internet users accessing digital media content in general (from 57% to 60% over the period).
Ofcom’s report points out that many internet users do not access music films and TV shows regularly and piracy levels amongst those that do via download or streaming hits 30%.
For those who watch films online, the digital piracy rate is 33%, according to the report and 26% for online music consumers.
Over the three month period to the end of January, music content accounted for 280 million of the 386 million files acquired illegally.
TV programming accounted for 52 million files; film 29 million; e-books 18 million and computer software and video games at 7 million.
Those figures are in line with another Ofcom report released in March this year, which showed that more music was pirated in Q3 2012 than TV, film and video games combined.
Ofcom reported that of the 18% of UK internet users engaging in online piracy over the period, 5% only ever use illegal services.
59% were male and 68% were under 34 years of age.