If you build it and then give it away for free on the Internet… they will come. ITProPortal reports that the single most downloaded torrent bundle of 2013 was actually legal, and, perhaps more surprisingly, it was Moby’s latest album, Innocents.
That’s right: Innocents was downloaded at least 8.9 million times, making it a hotter online commodity than recent Grammy winners like Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories and The Heist from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, or even TV shows like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad.
While instances of artist-backed file-sharing like this certainly help to validate the torrent community as more than just a haven for pirates, it should be noted that the free downloads didn’t necessarily translate to album sales. Of the 8.9 million freeloaders, only about 130,000 individuals clicked through to iTunes (ostensibly) to pay for the record. By comparison, the top-selling album of 2013–Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience–sold 2.4 million copies in the US, according to Billboard.