Consumers are showing little aversion to watching pirated content: While 69% of US consumers said that streaming or downloading pirated video content is illegal, 32% of them said they watch it anyway.
A new survey by Irdeto, conducted online by YouGov, also found that a slightly higher percentage—74%—of respondents think that producing or sharing content is illegal (as opposed to simply watching it).
When consumers watch pirated video content such as movies, TV series or live sports, it results in content creators losing money that would be dedicated toward future video content, while also typically benefiting criminal organizations. Yet many consumers are nonetheless eager to pirate content to seek out the programming they desire.
When told that pirated video content can result in studios losing money, meaning they cannot invest in creating content, 39% of consumers said that this knowledge has no effect on the amount of pirated video content they want to watch.
And, only 19% of respondents said that the financial damage caused by piracy would stop them from watching pirated content altogether. However, many consumers do fully understand the negative impact piracy has on the content creation business.
“The negative impact that piracy has on the content creation industry extends much further than lost revenue,” said Lawrence Low, vice president of business development and sales, Irdeto. “Piracy deters content creators from investing in new content, impacting the creative process and providing consumers with less choice. It is becoming increasingly important for operators and movie studios to educate consumers on the tactics employed by pirates and to further promote innovative offerings that allow consumers to legally acquire content.”
In regards to the most popular pirated content, the survey found an even split between consumers who prefer to pirate movies and TV shows. About a quarter (24%) of consumers who watch pirated content are most interested in watching TV series. An additional 24% of respondents are most interested in pirated movies that are currently showing in theaters. The survey also found that consumers are interested in pirating DVD and Blu-ray movies (18%), live sports (10%) and OTT original content from Netflix, Hulu, iTunes and others (9%).
“Education on the impact of piracy to consumers is an important element of an anti-piracy strategy,” said Rory O’Connor, vice president of services, Irdeto. “It is important for content owners to educate themselves on the three elements of consumer choice when selecting a service: content, value and convenience. To avoid pirates stealing market share, content owners and operators need to make sure they are implementing a comprehensive, 360-degree anti-piracy strategy that includes watermarking, detection and enforcement.”
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