Recovering just 25% of piracy revenue could boost broadcast market by £19bn
February 2, 2024
Data from global consultancy Kearney, and MUSO, a London-based data company providing anti-piracy solutions and market analytics, shows that global video piracy site visits will have risen to an estimated 141 billion in 2023, increasing by 12% since 2019.
The study conducted by Kearney and MUSO is based on the measurement of both unlicensed downloading and streaming consumption of over 730,000 films and TV titles globally. It highlights a new opportunity for media companies to commercialise unwilling pirates and prevent revenue loss, especially given the expansive nature of digital piracy data which enables them to unlock audience demand insights and proactively navigate the fast-evolving demands of the market.
Europe and APAC dominate piracy landscape, but the U.S. and India top country rankings
Europe and APAC had the greatest regional share of piracy site visits in the first half of 2023, both at 31% of the global total. APAC’s large population accounts for the size of its share, however, with a staggering 34 piracy site visits per capita over the course of the first half of 2023 (compared to APAC’s 5), the frequency of piracy is significantly greater in Europe. Piracy is also common in North America and South America, with 26 and 13 visits to piracy sites per capita respectively.
At a national level, the US and India top the rankings, both with an 11% share of global piracy visits. Growth in internet accessibility and affordability has seen piracy increase significantly in India (Film piracy grew by 80% in the last year), putting the nation above Russia (6%) and the UK (3%).
Films, TV shows and anime most in demand
Unlicensed films and TV shows (65%) and anime content (25%) make up an overwhelming 90% of demand, compared to only one-in-ten video piracy site visits being for unlicensed live sport (9%) and live linear broadcast (1%). However, this does differ at a regional level. Live sports accounts for 5.3% of piracy site visits in APAC and reaches a high of 11.3% of all visits in the US, due to cultural differences in content demand.
If the industry recovered only a quarter of the revenue leakage from piracy, this would boost the global broadcast and xVOD market value by 6% – or £19bn.1 According to the Kearney report, unwilling pirates – people who knowingly consume pirated content either because it is not available legally in their market or because the legal service has technical or commercial limitations – present the biggest opportunity to recoup this lost revenue.
Data, analytics, and AI will be core enablers in diagnosing the root causes of piracy, segmenting and profiling illegal users, and ultimately innovating across product design, pricing, distribution, revenue management, service, and loyalty.
Christophe Firth, Partner at Kearney, commented: “The global rise of video content piracy is concerning. However, with a slight adjustment of perspective, it also becomes an opportunity for those media companies that can change their approach to commercialise pirate users and plug the revenue leakage. This starts with understanding the users on piracy sites and using this data as a catalyst for commercial and operational change. Cost, availability, and viewer experience are all factors that can drive these users to a piracy site and are all factors that can be addressed by media companies.”
Andy Chatterley, MUSO Founder & CEO, added: “Digital piracy continues to increase, and with rising internet penetration and the proliferation of video-on-demand platforms, piracy is more of a problem than ever. MUSO’s data is driving real transformation for entertainment companies to truly understand how their content can be better positioned, better marketed and better tailored towards a vast audience that is not currently being satisfied with legal offerings. This joint report with Kearney clearly articulates the value of data from this audience.”