Research: Legal services reduce video piracy

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Exclusive consumer research by Ampere Analysis has revealed a steady fall in the proportion of consumers who say that they regularly use pirate sites and services to watch online video.  In the three-year period between Q1 2016 and Q1 2019, there have been particularly sharp declines in video piracy in Spain, the US, the Netherlands and France. What’s the reason for the decline in piracy, and does this mean it will eventually be eradicated?

According to Richard Broughton, Director at Ampere Analysis, on average, in markets where either catch-up or SVoD online video viewing has risen the most, piracy has experienced the biggest drop. “With the growth in all-you-can-eat legal services, users no longer need to turn to illegitimate sources to get their viewing fix,” he suggests.

Spain, traditionally a very high piracy market, is a case in point. The market has seen a 47 per cent increase in claimed SVoD and catch-up viewing in the three-year period, and almost the same (45 per cent) decrease in the proportion of Internet uses regularly turning to pirate services.

The research suggests that just having access to on-demand services isn’t enough, consumers must actually use the services for their usage of piracy sites to be impacted. The content on SVoD and catch-up services needs to be appealing for the audience.

“The on-demand market is moving into a period of ‘siloisation’ where producer and distributor brands go direct to the consumer, at the same time restricting the amount of content they license to third party services,” advises Broughton. “If the mainstream OTT players have less of the content users want to watch, when they want to watch it, there’s a genuine risk that usage of these SVoD and catch-up services could begin to slump, something the pirate operators will be quick to capitalise on,” he warns.


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