In its 2010 annual report (PDF), recorded music's global trade body said that the industry would "struggle to survive unless we address the fundamental problem of piracy." Just how "fundamental" a problem is that piracy? Not very, as new research suggests that only 9 percent of US Internet users even use peer-to-peer networks at all, down substantially from 2007.
Market research firm NPD Group, which tracks music acquisition, said today that P2P use has dropped from 16 percent of all US Internet users to 9 percent over the last three years. The latest data comes from the fourth quarter of 2010, when a federal judge shut down LimeWire; that may have depressed the numbers a bit, though NPD notes that other P2P programs saw more usage as a result.