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Survey: Nearly Half of Global Consumers Willing to Curb Watching Pirated Content After Learning About Its Damage to Industry

8 Mar, 2017 By: Stephanie Prange



Nearly half of global consumers are willing to stop watching or watch less pirated content after learning that it damages the media industry, according to a survey conducted by digital platform security firm Irdeto.

An Irdeto Global Consumer Piracy Survey of more than 25,000 adults across 30 countries — the largest such study, according to the firm — found that despite the high number of consumers around the globe watching pirated video content (52%), 48% would stop or watch less illegal content after learning the damage that piracy causes the media industry.

“This willingness by nearly half of consumers to change their viewing habits speaks to the huge impact that education could have on reducing the number of people who pirate video content,” according to the Irdeto press release.

An industry-wide education initiative could have the most impact in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific (APAC) markets, according to the Irdeto survey. Fifty-nine percent of consumers who watch pirated content in Latin America and 55% in APAC stated they would watch less or stop watching pirated video content after learning that piracy results in revenue loss for studios, affecting investments in future content creation. Conversely, only 45% in Europe and 38% of respondents from the United States said that they would watch less or stop watching pirated content, the survey found. This indicates that simply educating consumers in these regions about damages associated with revenue loss may not be enough, according to Irdeto. However, an education initiative focusing on piracy’s impact on the creative process of producing content, coupled with knowledge on how piracy is often linked to criminal organizations and that pirated content could include malware aimed at stealing consumer’s personal information, may resonate better in those markets, Irdeto noted.

“A battle is being waged in the media and entertainment industry,” said Irdeto CEO Doug Lowther. “Legal content offerings are no longer only competing against each other. Pirates have undoubtedly grown into a formidable foe that should not be ignored. With more than half of consumers openly admitting to watching pirated content, it is crucial that the industry tackle piracy head-on. To do so will require technology and services to protect the legal content as well as a comprehensive education program to help change the behavior of consumers.”

“Education around the negative impact of piracy on both the industry and the consumers themselves is an important element of any anti-piracy strategy,” stated Rory O’Connor, Irdeto VP of services. “The results of this survey show that many countries are open to change. To elicit this change in consumer habits will take a concerted effort from all the industry players to not only educate consumers about the negative impact of piracy, but also continued innovation to address the three elements of consumer choice — content, value and convenience.”

Additional findings from the Irdeto survey include:

An illegal vs. legal awareness gap: While many consumers across the globe recognize that producing or sharing pirated video content is illegal (70%), far fewer people are aware that streaming or downloading (watching the content) is also against the law (59%). In Latin America, this gap was widest with 75% of respondents stating that producing or sharing pirated content is illegal, compared with only 60% recognizing that streaming or downloading is illegal. The overall survey results suggest that more education may be required around the globe to educate consumers that engaging in any form of piracy (producing, sharing, downloading or streaming) is illegal.

The Russian awareness outlier: In nearly every country surveyed, many consumers recognize that producing or sharing pirated video content is illegal; however, in Russia this is not the case. A staggering 87% of respondents do not think that producing or sharing pirated video content is illegal. In addition, 66% believe that it is not illegal to download or stream pirated video content.

Content availability impacting consumption: APAC (61%) and Latin America (70%) had the most consumers who admitted to watching pirated content, while those in Europe (45%) and the U.S. (32%) said they pirate the least. These results indicate that consumers in Europe and the United States have more access to the content they desire, reducing their need to watch pirated content, according to Irdeto.

The younger generation shifting viewing habits: Laptops were universally the preferred device for the consumption of pirated video content. Consumers in Europe (65%), APAC (45%), Latin America (53%) and the United States (41%) all stated that this was their most frequent method of consuming pirated content. However, a shift has already started, with many aged 18-24 surveyed indicating that they use mobile or streaming devices the most to watch or access pirated video content. Fifty-two percent of consumers in China in this age bracket indicated that mobile devices are their preferred method of consuming pirated content (i.e. smartphones or tablets). Additionally, those 18-24 in India (20%) were the most likely to watch pirated content on a streaming device. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) cracked the top five in both categories, indicating that its 18-24 population is ahead of the curve when it comes to using mobile or streaming devices instead of laptops to view pirated video content.

The rise of Kodi box in the United Kingdom: Interestingly, the Kodi box only registered as a top device to pirate content in the United Kingdom, with 11% of pirating consumers using the streaming device to access illegal content. The second-highest percentage was in Portugal, where 6% of consumers use Kodi to access pirated content. The highest percentage of Kodi users in the United Kingdom was in the 35-44 and 55-plus age groups, at 18% each. This is in stark contrast to the 3% of those 18-24 using a Kodi box to pirate content.

Consumers' must-watch list: Movies that are currently being shown in cinemas/theaters (27%) and TV series (21%) were the most popular types of pirated content. Also, while live sports piracy is a growing industry problem, one surprise in the survey results was the percentage of pirating consumers who indicated that live sports was the type of pirated video content they were most interested in. The only countries that listed it in their top two were Portugal (25%), Egypt (23%) and GCC (19%). While the negative impact of live sports piracy is already being felt by the industry, this indicates that the market still has an opportunity to educate consumers about the damage that piracy causes the live sports space before the problem grows even larger, according to Irdeto. This education will be especially important for males as more men in each country indicated that live sports is the type of content they are most interested in pirating, while a majority of women prefer to pirate TV series, Irdeto noted.

The survey was commissioned by Irdeto and conducted online from December 29, 2016, to February 16, 2017, by YouGov. Countries surveyed include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, GCC (region cluster comprised of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman), Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States. Figures were weighted to be representative of adults in each country (e.g. nationally representative, urban representative, online representative).

The survey can be viewed here.
 


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