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Halloween spurs illegal downloads

In the lead up to Halloween, illegal peer-to-peer downloads of current and classic scary movies increased by 21 per cent worldwide from October 14th to October 23rd, according to digital platform security specialist Irdeto.

Irdeto investigated piracy trends of some of the most popular horror movies and TV shows released in the past 45 years. This included classics such as Night of the Living Dead, new movies such as Hotel Transylvania 2 and popular scary TV shows such as the new season of The Walking Dead. Irdeto found that Insidious was the most pirated scary movie with 56 per cent more downloads than the 2nd most popular film, Poltergeist, and 72 per cent more downloads than the 3rd most popular film, The Shining.

Ghosts Freeze Out Zombie and Slasher Flicks

Irdeto tracked a sampling of the world’s favourite scary movies in a genre battle for the ages. Ghost-themed movies accounted for a bloodcurdling 54 per cent of overall illegal downloads, Zombie movies shuffled in at 27 per cent and Slasher flicks chopped off 18 per cent of downloads. Slasher movies made the biggest jump in this time period, with downloads increasing by 36 per cent.  Zombie movie downloads increased by 25 per cent and Ghost movie downloads increased by 22 per cent.

The interest in and celebration of Halloween has become a global phenomenon. Irdeto found that the United States and Russia pirated the most scary movies overall, each tallying in at 12 per cent of illegal movies downloaded. The US is also responsible for the most Ghost movie (11 per cent) and Slasher movie downloads (25 per cent). It was Russia, however, that took the lead in pirating Zombie themed films, with 23 per cent of the category’s downloads.

“As scary as this sounds, piracy data can help pay TV and OTT operators understand what their customers demand and may not have legal and affordable access to,” said Rory O’Connor Vice President, Services, Irdeto. “By looking at spikes in piracy, you can determine the most advantageous content, timing and format for your video service offerings in specific markets. For instance, consumers in the United States gravitate to older horror flicks that generate nostalgia around Halloween. It is quite possible for older video content to rise from the dead during key points of the year.”

Piracy of The Walking Dead is Infectious Worldwide

The Walking Dead continues to be the most pirated scary TV show that Irdeto tracks, accounting for 44 per cent of total illegal television downloads, followed by American Horror Story at 28 per cent, Dexter at 10 per cent, Grimm 9 per cent, iZombie at 7 per cent and Hemlock Grove at 2 per cent.

“One reason that Hemlock Grove may be less pirated than the others is due to Netflix’s binge-style release all of seasonal episodes at once,” said O’Connor. “Releasing episodes all together may help combat piracy by tapping into the consumer’s need for instant gratification. But on the flip side, this strategy also prevents content providers from capitalizing on the grassroots marketing engine that comes with traditional episodic release.”

It Takes a Lot to Scare Brazilians and the French

Based on the data collected, Brazil and France pirated the most horror content overall (both movies and TV shows), with both countries accounting for 11 per cent of illegal downloads worldwide respectively. The top 10 countries account for 60 per cent of total illegal downloads.

Country Percentage of Illegal Downloads of both Movies and TV Shows
1.       Brazil 11.09 per cent
2.       France 11.00 per cent
3.       Spain 8.33 per cent
4.       Russia 6.88 per cent
5.       United States 5.35 per cent
6.       Italy 4.28 per cent
7.       Netherlands 3.71 per cent
8.       Australia 3.34 per cent
9.       United Kingdom 3.30 per cent
10.   Philippines 2.89 per cent




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