Advanced Television

Australia: Online content piracy decreasing

December 27, 2019

By Colin Mann

The latest research from Australia’s Department of Communications and the Arts shows the consumption of online content continues to grow and online copyright infringement continues to trend down.

This year, more than 2,400 responses were received for the Consumer survey on online copyright infringement 2019, showing that Australians are downloading, streaming and sharing more content than ever before across digital music, video games, movies and TV programmes.

The year’s results show that:

  • consumer confidence has grown in knowing what’s lawful and unlawful content online, and the number of respondents who consume unlawful content has decreased significantly since 2015
  • consumers are less motivated in accessing unlawful content than they were in 2015, however the inability to afford lawful content remains a barrier
  • Australian consumers are also now less likely to illegally access content that is not yet available to them at the same time as the rest of the world
  • when encountering a blocked site with illegal content, a majority of consumers did not continue to try and access to content
  • subscriptions to online streaming providers, such as Netflix, have become the dominant means of accessing digital content for TV programmes and movies.

For the first time, the survey captures consumer behaviour about accessing live sport and also podcasts, with 16 per cent of respondents streaming podcasts and 8 per cent downloading in 2019.

The survey also found that 54 per cent of infringers were male. Infringers were most likely to be aged between 25-34 (22 per cent), 35-44 (20 per cent), 16-24 and 45-54 (18 per cent each). Both the 12-15 age bracket and 55 years and older were 11 per cent each.


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