Almost a third of UK internet users who stream or download music, TV and films did so at least once illegally in the quarter to the end of January, with almost 400m files digitally pirated in the three-month period, according to the media regulator.
Ofcom's latest online copyright infringement tracker report found that digital piracy of music, film, TV, books, video games and computer software rose in the three months to the end of January compared with the previous quarter.
The report, financially supported by the Intellectual Property Office, found that almost one in six (18%) of internet users aged 12 and over accessed digital entertainment media using an illegal service.
This is up from 16% in the previous quarterly report, although Ofcom pointed out that the rise in piracy coincides with an overall boost in the proportion of internet users accessing digital media content from 57% to 60% in the three-month period.
However, the report points out that many internet users never access content such as music, films and TV shows. A look at internet users who regularly download and stream digital media content shows piracy levels of 30%.
This rises to a digital piracy rate of 33% among those who watch films online, and 26% of online music buffs.
Music is by far the most popular digital media pirated, accounting for 280m of the 386m items of content illegally accessed over the three-month period.
TV programming ranked second at 52m; films at 29m; ebooks at 18m; and computer software and video games lowest at 7m.
Ofcom said that of the 18% of UK internet users who engaged in digital piracy in the three-month period, about 5% only ever use illegal services.
The report shows that of those who accessed content illegally 59% were male, and 68% were under 34 years of age.
The most common reason given for accessing illegal content are because it is "free, convenient and quick".