A study of the content viewing behaviour of Malaysian consumers revealed that 23 per cent of consumers use a TV box which can be used to stream pirated television and video content. These TV boxes, also known as Illicit Streaming Devices (ISDs), allow users to access hundreds of pirated television channels and video-on-demand content, usually with a low annual subscription fee. TV boxes often come pre-loaded with illegal applications allowing ‘plug-and-play’ access to pirated content.
The survey, commissioned by the Asia Video Industry Association’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) and conducted by YouGov, highlights the detrimental effects of streaming piracy on legitimate subscription video services.
This latest research shows a slight decrease in ISD usage when compared to a similar YouGov study undertaken in January, which found that 25 per cent of Malaysian online consumers used TV boxes to stream pirated television and video content.
The research also found that 50 per cent of Malaysian online consumers have accessed streaming piracy websites or torrent sites to access premium content without paying any subscription fees.
Of the 23 per cent of consumers who purchased a TV box for free streaming, nearly two thirds (64 per cent) stated that they had cancelled all or some of their subscription to legal pay TV services. Specifically, 34 per cent asserted that they cancelled their local pay-TV subscriptions as a direct consequence of owning an ISD. International subscription services, which includes panAsia-only offerings, were impacted as well – 20 per cent of Malaysian users have abandoned subscriptions in favour of ISD purchases.
In addition to the short-term problem of cancelled subscriptions is a longer term problem – namely, many of the people using ISDs are young. The survey found that ISDs are particularly favoured among 18-24 year-olds, with 76 per cent cancelling legitimate subscription services as a result of owning ISDs.
Neil Gane, the General Manager of AVIA’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) commented: “The piracy ecosystem is highly fragmented and so what we are developing and refining is a holistic solution to include enhanced legislation to allow for effective enforcement; meaningful cooperation with e-platforms and other intermediaries, disabling access to pirated content through efficient and effective site blocking and consumer outreach”.