70% of Russians watch pirate content

Viewing pirated content is extremely common among Russian consumers, largely due to the cost and availability of legal content, according to research from Irdeto.

The online research conducted by YouGov revealed that almost three quarters of consumers in Russia (70 per cent) watch pirated video content, with 16 per cent watching it more than once a week – showing that pirated content is much more pervasive than in the US, UK, Australia, Singapore and India, based on previous Irdeto global research.

In terms of video content, ad-funded services are clearly the most popular among respondents who ever watch entertainment content with 43 per cent saying they watch video content through these services most frequently. However, almost one quarter of respondents (23 per cent) primarily use pirate services to watch content. This makes pirate services more popular than both subscription services (20 per cent) and pay per view (4 per cent) in Russia. According to the research, the main reason respondents would watch pirated content is that legal content is too expensive, with 39 per cent identifying this as the main reason they would watch pirated content. This is followed by not wanting to wait for official releases (33 per cent) and not being available locally (24 per cent).

“The prevalence of piracy in the Russian market is clearly identified by this research, with high content costs, longer windows and lack of availability fuelling the situation,” said Andrey Silanchev, Business Development Director Russia and CIS, Irdeto. “While this is partly due to the economic situation, it’s clear that operators must make multiscreen and OTT content in this market either ad-funded or very affordable through low subscription fees. Ancillary devices outside the living room are clearly very prevalent in Russia and if pay TV operators are not fulfilling demand, this is another opportunity for pirated content services.”

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