Stephen Witt


This is the website of Stephen Witt. I am a Los Angeles-based writer, television producer, and investigative journalist.


Published in June 2015, How Music Got Free is a narrative history of music piracy, and tells the true story of the scientists, smugglers and suits who fought the Internet’s first content war. It covers the scientific development of the mp3 and the fall of the record industry in detail, but the core of the story is the organized criminal conspiracy that infiltrated the music industry’s supply chain, leaking more than 10,000 albums to the Internet.

Selected Reviews:

  • Dwight Garner, New York Times: “How Music Got Free is Mr. Witt’s first book, and it has what a music executive might call crossover appeal. That is, it has the clear writing and brisk reportorial acumen of a Michael Lewis book.”
  • Nick Hornby, The Times (UK): “A terrific, timely, informative book, of particular value to anyone who has been left bewildered by the speed of change in listening habits in the 21st century.”
  • 100 Greatest Music Books of All Time, Billboard: “With methodical reporting and subtle, sardonic humor, Witt explains exactly how it all played out while implying that, one way or another, the collapse of the old system was inevitable.”

Professional Writing

I have written a number of articles for magazines, websites and newspapers.

✭ = Personal favorite

§ = Viral hit

†  = Contains material adapted from How Music Got Free