Research conducted by the UK's official copyright body, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), has found that online piracy has dropped to a record low, and it's all down to the availability of new legal services such as Netflix and Spotify.

The IPO, responsible for tackling the piracy problem in the UK, found that piracy has dropped 18 percent in the last year alone, and that 44 percent of users are now relying solely on legal means to get their online content.

The research data shows that of the users surveyed who listen to music, 80% now use only legal means to source their content, up from 74% a year ago. The report made specific mentions of Spotify, which the report says secured a 3% rise in new UK users in the last year.

As a result, the number of respondents that uses peer-to-peer filesharing to source the content has dropped, from 12% to 10%.

The rise of streaming has also contributed to the decline of downloading - 52% of users now use streaming services, compared to 39% who download.

Responding to the report, the UK's Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, welcomed the progress being made towards eliminating piracy.

"I am extremely pleased to see that there has been a decline in infringement and that consumers appear to be turning towards legitimate streaming en masse," said Neville-Rolfe.

Eddy Leviten, Director General of the Alliance for Intellectual Property, also welcomed the development.

"It is encouraging to see that more UK consumers are choosing legitimate content sources, thereby supporting creators and creative businesses," said Leviten.

The report also notes that spending on film and music has increased, while spending on TV shows and video games has dropped in the last year.

[Via The Telegraph]

[Source: Intellectual Property Office]