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Apprised of Damage, Half of Video Pirates Would Stop Watching

Despite the high number of consumers around the globe watching pirated video content (52%), nearly half (48%) would stop or watch less illegal content after learning the damage that piracy causes the media industry.

The finding, from Irdeto’s Global Consumer Piracy Survey, speaks to the huge impact that education could have on reducing the number of people who pirate video content.

The study further found that the positive outcome of an industry-wide education initiative could have the most impact in Latin America and APAC. A full 59% of consumers who watch pirated content in Latin America and 55% in APAC stated they would watch less or stop watching pirated video content after learning that piracy results in revenue loss from studios, affecting investments in future content creation.

Conversely, only 45% in Europe and 38% of respondents from the US said that they would watch less or stop watching pirated content. This indicates that simply educating consumers in these regions about damages associated with revenue loss may not be enough. However, an education initiative focusing on piracy’s impact on the creative process of producing content, coupled with knowledge on how piracy is often linked to criminal organizations and that pirated content could include malware aimed at stealing consumers' personal information, may resonate better in those markets.

 “A battle is being waged in the media and entertainment industry,” said Doug Lowther, CEO, Irdeto. “Legal content offerings are no longer only competing against each other. Pirates have undoubtedly grown into a formidable foe that should not be ignored. With more than half of consumers openly admitting to watching pirated content, it is crucial that the industry tackle piracy head-on. To do so will require technology and services to protect the legal content as well as a comprehensive education program to help change the behavior of consumers. Coupled with a 360-degree anti-piracy strategy, the market is fully prepared to take the battle against piracy to the next level.”

There also seems to be an illegal vs. legal awareness gap: While many consumers across the globe recognize that producing or sharing pirated video content is illegal (70%), far fewer people are aware that streaming or downloading (watching the content) is also against the law (59%). In Latin America, this gap was widest, with 75% of respondents stating that producing or sharing pirated content is illegal, compared to only 60% recognizing that streaming or downloading is illegal. The overall survey results suggest that more education may be required around the globe to educate consumers that engaging in any form of piracy (producing, sharing, downloading or streaming) is illegal.

Interestingly, Russian awareness is a massive outlier: A staggering 87% of respondents do not think that producing or sharing pirated video content is illegal. In addition, 66% believe that it is not illegal to download or stream pirated video content. 

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