Nearly two third of Brits that illegally download music online said Swedish music streaming service Spotify has encouraged them to reduce their illegal file-sharing activities, says Moneysupermarket.com.

Research by the comparison site revealed that 12 percent of Brits have illegally downloaded files online in the past month, while men prove to be bigger offenders than women with 16 percent of men illegally downloading compared to just nine percent of women.

Moneysupermarket.com also said that that younger generations were more likely to offen with just under a third of under 20s claiming to illegally file-share.

James Parker, broadband manager at moneysupermarket.com, said: "With Spotify joining the ranks of legal music sites, illegal downloading seems set to become much less popular".

"Streaming music for free or for a reasonable fee while on the move could spell the end for illegal downloading and could even send the CD the way of the mini-disc and cassette tape."

Spotify allows users to create a playlist of songs they want to hear from its catalogue. They can also create 'collaborative' playlists, which are assigned their own web addresses, and can then be added to by other Spotify listeners.

The tracks are broadcast in a style similar to commercial radio, in that they are peppered with adverts.

However, for 99p, Spotify users can purchase a whole day of ad-free listening, or alternatively pay a £10 monthly subscription and never hear an advert again.

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See also: EU promises illegal downloaders a fair trial