A report by market research firm NPD Group claims only 9 percent of US Internet users downloaded pirated content via peer-to-peer filesharing networks, down from 16 percent in 2007. The average number of downloads is also down significantly, it fell from 35 per quarter in 2007 to 18 per quarter by the end of last year.
The NPD numbers are not a complete view of the piracy problem. The company surveys only P2P use and so would not include one-click download sites and illegal online streaming services that have become more important for the movie business, in particular.
Still, the NPD data suggests that, in the US at least, piracy isn't the "fundamental" problem it's perceived to be. (Even Warner admits that pirates "tend to drive high discovery for others" and to spend some of their own money on music.) In developing economies, where piracy rates can reach north of 90 percent for music, movies, and software, it's a much more fundamental issue for content companies.