Consumers who prefer piracy over legal video sites are ensuring that peer-to-peer (P2P) piracy continues to be the major method of accessing illegal copies of movies and TV shows, according to new research from digital platform security specialist Irdeto and a web analytics partner. The research also finds that the growth in web video piracy is only adding to the global movie and TV piracy problem, rather than replacing P2P piracy.
The overall popularity of pirate web video sites is growing alongside P2P, driven by visits from ‘casual pirates’, who go to both legitimate sites and illegal piracy sites. Five out of ten monthly visits to pirate sites by casual pirates in 2017 were to web video sites. However, in 2017, eight out of ten monthly visits to pirate sites by ‘committed pirates’ (those who do not visit legitimate streaming sites) were to P2P sites.
The research also found that visits to P2P sites accounted for 70 per cent of global activity for both web video and P2P platforms. This behaviour led to an average of 800 million global monthly downloads from P2P sites in 2017. In addition, P2P activity in the most prominent high-piracy countries, which include Russia, India, Brazil, the Netherlands and the US is either constant or increasing. The research reveals that web video sites source a significant proportion (28 per cent) of their high-quality video content from P2P sites.
“While many expect P2P piracy to be taken over by streaming and direct downloads, it’s clear that this has not happened yet. P2P piracy is still a big threat to the industry, in which the overall piracy problem is growing,” noted Peter Cossack, Vice President, Cybersecurity Services, Irdeto. “While the increase in bandwidth and social media has facilitated growth in content redistribution piracy, particularly around live sporting events, it is clear that other forms of piracy are not going away any time soon. This must be considered by content owners and rights holders in their security strategies.”