Bruno Mars, Rihanna Are Most Pirated Artists of 2013

Artists prompt more than five million illegal downloads each

Bruno Mars and Rihanna.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Clear Channel; Kevin Mazur/AMA2013/WireImage
December 30, 2013 12:30 PM ET

Bruno Mars and Rihanna were illegally downloaded more than five million times each in 2013, making them the two most-pirated artists of the year.

According to Musicmetric, which analyzes BitTorrent data, Daft Punk, Justin Timberlake and Flo Rida rounded out the top five musicians. Kanye West, Eminem, Jay Z, Drake and Pitbull also earned the dubious distinction of high illegal downloads.

Rihanna and More New Immortals

Musicmetric also crunched numbers to determine that Taylor Swift was a social media winner in 2013, adding 29.5 million new followers on Facebook, Twitter and other services. Close behind were Katy Perry, who added 29.2 million fans, and Timberlake, with 28.8 million.

Gregory Mead, a Musicmetric executive, said that while the analysts "don't condone piracy," the company's BitTorrent data does show artists where their fans are and helps them plan ways to engage with them.

"Back in the day, people went into record shops to try records before they bought them," said Mead, whose company recently noted that Beyoncé's new album was pirated 240,000 times in its first 10 days of release. "Nowadays, they download or stream a track and then perhaps buy a download or a gig ticket." 

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »