Beyoncé’s new album may have gone platinum in less than a week, but according to reports fans also illegally downloaded the self-titled project nearly a quarter of a million times during the same time span.
According to Billboard, the pirated copies would have earned Bey another $3.8 million in sales — that is if each person who illegally downloaded the album bought a $15.99 copy.
“As of Dec. 18, Beyoncé’s entire music catalog was shared more than 2 million times over file sharing sites that leverage the BitTorrent download protocol during 2013 — 239,131 of those were shares of her new self-titled album,” according to music data analyst Musicmetric.
Although $3.8 million is a big loss, Musicmetric’s chief executive Gregory Mead said the news is not all bad.
“The usefulness of BitTorrent data is that it allows record labels to have an incredibly detailed insight into where their artists are popular – right down to the town,” he told Billboard. “Although the file-sharing numbers may be high, it will be possible to translate many of these into buyers.”