Research from Coda Research Consultancy estimates that UK Internet users watch at least £1.3 billion worth of video content a year through illegal file sharing, and that video rights owners are losing at least £100m a year in lost revenue. Year-on-year increases in these illegal behaviours are irreversible, but can be slowed through the launch of aggregated catch up, archive and film services online and direct to TV, Coda suggests.
Commenting on the research, Coda’s Senior Director, Steve Smith, said that if Project Canvas and commercial aggregators were to launch soon, overall ad revenues and audiences are set to increase. "If these don’t launch, we forecast even larger reductions in TV ad revenues by up to 25 per cent, and the drive to illegal sources will be even greater than they are now, reaching at least two thirds of VOD behaviour by 2015. Overall, our research shows that the stakes for the vision industry are very high. Either invest, draw up business, legal, rights and distribution models, and open up current, archive and film content, or face the nightmare scenario of sustained decline in revenues and audiences, thus threatening the sustainability of some major current vision services.”