A new study conducted by the Institute for Information Law and Ecorys has found that the percentage of internet users illegally downloading or streaming music, film, TV, book and game content in 2017 had decreased since 2014 in twelve of the thirteen countries surveyed, and that legal, paid downloading and streaming had increased in the same period.
The countries surveyed were France, Germany, UK, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan and Thailand. Only Germany saw an increase in illegal downloading and streaming over the three years (a marginal increase from 38% to 39%), whilst the percentage of the population illegally accessing content in the other 12 countries noticeably declined.
Whilst enforcement measures against piracy have become more prominent in recent years with a handful of high-profile cases resulting in the shutting down of several known piracy platforms perhaps contributing in part to the noticeable shift, the report’s authors argue that the availability and affordability of content is still the biggest driver of societal streaming habits.
They suggest that the increase in catalogue volume and choice of several leading paid-subscription streaming services and the increase in available providers has reduced the need and temptation to stream content illegally in the majority of markets.
The fact that illegal streaming rates remain relatively high in countries with lower average earnings and with lesser access to paid-subscription services (Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand) would seem to support this theory.
Richard Jones, Business Relationship Manager for ip21 Ltd