Sure, we have streaming options and widespread digital download availability for music these days. But that doesn’t mean torrenting music is on the downswing. Au contraire — music piracy is alive and well. Musicmetric even compiled a popularity chart, not unlike Billboard’s Top 100, identifying where the most torrenting was taking place and who the most torrented artist is in each country.

In the first half of 2012, the United States was the king of the hill, with 96.6 million music downloads. The United Kingdom came in second, with 43.2 million downloads, followed by Italy, in third place with 33.1 million downloads. Behind that is Canada, Brazil, Australia, Spain, India, France, and the Philippines, in that order.

As for who they’re downloading, the top 5 countries are seem to be obsessed with:

  • Drake: the most torrented artist in the U.S.
  • Ed Sheeran: U.K.
  • Laura Pausini: Italy
  • Kanye West: Canada
  • Dubstep artist Billy Van: Brazil

Here’s a crazy stat: Though some might wonder who Billy Van is, he’s actually the most downloaded artist among the top 20 countries. Then again, he’s got a distribution deal with BitTorrent Inc., so he’s got a leg up on this digital distribution platform — unlike Ed Sheeran. His 1.2 million album sales doesn’t even come close to the 8 million times his works have been torrented.

[Via Geekosystem, TorrentFreak]