Survey: SVoD fragmentation could drive piracy

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A survey of 1,500 visitors to UK comparison site Broadband Genie set out to discover how people felt about the splintering of streaming services, and whether they might turn to piracy.

Amazon Prime and Netflix are by far the most popular services for UK streaming subscribers. Both boast extensive libraries at a relatively low cost.

But 30 per cent say that there is content they want to watch on services they don’t have. The UK is yet to experience the same degree of fragmentation as other countries so the situation is only going to get more complicated with the launch of major new services over the next couple of years.

Eighteen per cent of respondents admitted to “often” or “occasionally” accessing content via illegal streams or file sharing.

But 37 per cent would consider illegal sources instead of paying if streaming service fragmentation continues to grow. And 60 per cent of them would consider paying for a VPN to hide their identity.

Broadband Genie also asked what people didn’t like about having multiple services. While it’s no surprise to find that cost was the most popular answer, it’s interesting to discover that a large number of people are frustrated with the need to use different interfaces, and with the difficulty of finding a particular show or movie.

This suggests that streaming providers could retain some customers who might turn to piracy by providing a unified interface which supported multiple services.

For now, viewers with limited budgets may be best off switching between providers depending on what they want to watch, suggests Broadband Genie. In the long term, it remains to be seen whether the market can sustain this many streaming services, or if we end up with a few giants dominating the industry as the smaller players end up being swallowed by those with deep pockets, it concludes.


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