Advanced Television

US consumers unworried by digital piracy damage

January 19, 2017

By Colin Mann

A survey by digital platform security specialist Irdeto has found that 74 per cent of US consumers said that producing or sharing pirated video content is illegal.

Conducted online by YouGov, the survey also found that 69 per cent of respondents think that streaming or downloading pirate content is illegal. While a majority of consumers are aware of piracy and are able to recognise pirated content, that knowledge isn’t preventing many consumers from pirating. Nearly one-third (32 per cent) of respondents said that they watch pirated content. With many consumers eager to pirate content to seek out the programming they desire, pirate businesses continue to grow.

According to Irdeto, content owners, movie studios and operators need to continue to introduce innovative product offerings as well as invest in additional content protection strategies to prevent pirates from stealing additional market share.

In addition, the survey found that when told that pirated video content can result in studios losing money, meaning they cannot invest in creating content, 39 per cent of consumers said that this knowledge has no effect on the amount of pirated video content they want to watch. Even more concerning is that only 19 per cent of respondents said that the financial damage caused by piracy would stop them from watching pirated content altogether.

However, many consumers do fully understand the negative impact piracy has on the content creation business. When consumers watch pirated video content such as movies, TV series or live sports, it results in content creators losing money that would be dedicated toward future video content, while also typically benefiting criminal organisations, Irdeto points out.

“The negative impact that piracy has on the content creation industry extends much further than lost revenue,” said Lawrence Low, Vice President of Business Development and Sales, Irdeto. “Piracy deters content creators from investing in new content, impacting the creative process and providing consumers with less choice. It is becoming increasingly important for operators and movie studios to educate consumers on the tactics employed by pirates and to further promote innovative offerings that allow consumers to legally acquire content.”

As for to the most-popular pirated content, the survey found an even split between consumers who prefer to pirate movies and TV shows. 24 per cent of consumers who watch pirated content are most interested in watching TV series. An additional 24 per cent of respondents are most interested in pirated movies that are currently showing in theatres. The survey also found that consumers are interested in pirating DVD and Blu-ray movies (18 per cent), live sports (10 per cent) and OTT original content from Netflix, Hulu, iTunes and others (9 per cent).

“Education on the impact of piracy to consumers is an important element of an anti-piracy strategy,” said Rory O’Connor, Vice President of Services, Irdeto. “It is important for content owners to educate themselves on the three elements of consumer choice when selecting a service: content, value and convenience. To avoid pirates stealing market share, content owners and operators need to make sure they are implementing a comprehensive, 360 degree anti-piracy strategy that includes watermarking, detection and enforcement.”

Categories: Articles, Business, Consumer Behaviour, Content, Markets, Piracy, Policy, Regulation, Research, Rights