Visits to online piracy sights grows by 12 percent

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Internet piracy, an enduring challenge since the internet’s inception, has experienced a significant uptick in recent times. Research conducted by MUSO, a UK-based anti-piracy firm, and Kearney, a consultancy group, indicates a 12% increase in traffic to piracy websites from 2019 to 2023. In 2023 alone, these websites garnered an impressive 141 billion visits, with an average of 386 million visits each day.

The US and India are at the forefront in terms of piracy volumes, yet on a per-capita basis, Europe and the Asia Pacific region exhibit higher rates. In 2023, Asia averaged 34 visits per person to piracy sites, surpassing North America’s average of 26. Christophe Firth from Kearney perceives this surge as both a problem and a potential for media companies to monetize pirate users and mitigate losses in revenue.

MUSO’s CEO, Andy Chatterley, links this surge to an increase in the number of platforms and a phenomenon known as subscription fatigue. Overwhelmed by the need to subscribe to numerous platforms, users are increasingly turning to piracy services for a more streamlined viewing experience. This shift is particularly pronounced among new internet users, with a notable 80% rise in movie piracy in India from 2022 to 2023.

Anime, accounting for 25% of the global pirated content last year, underscores piracy’s demand-driven aspect. Chatterley points out that grasping what content audiences prefer could be advantageous for streaming services. He notes that the majority of those accessing pirated content are driven not by financial motives but by the desire to access specific content.

The industry stands to regain a substantial portion of revenue lost to piracy. Firth proposes that recovering even a quarter of these losses could enhance the video-on-demand market by 4%, equivalent to about $24 billion. Tackling issues such as cost, availability, and user experience could divert users from piracy sites.

Sources include: Fast Company

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