How Music Got Free

How Music Got Free

The Inventor, the Music Man, and the Thief


What links Taylor Swift to a factory worker?
Kanye West to a German engineer?
Beyoncé to a boardroom mogul?

They’ve all changed the face of the music business, in the most unexpected ways.

How Music Got Free is the incredible true story of how online piracy and the MP3 revolutionised the way our world works, one track at a time.

‘This brilliant book tells you exactly how the perfect storm that forever changed the way we consume music took shape. Like many great works of investigative journalism it makes it clear that this is one of those stories you think you know. Until you realise you don’t’ John Niven, The Spectator

‘Reads like an underworld crime story… concise and very funny… The most remarkable thing about Witt’s book is that virtually none of the names is familiar… Witt finds unlikely heroes in unlikely places’ New Statesman


  • Enthralling… A terrific, timely, informative book… Witt is an authoritative, enthusiastic, sure-footed guide, and his research and his storytelling are exemplary… How Music Got Free stands comparison to The Social Network
    Nick Hornby, Sunday Times

About the author

Stephen Richard Witt

Stephen Witt is the author of How Music Got Free, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, and the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Financial Times, New York magazine, Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone and GQ. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
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