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Wow, video streaming piracy is on the rise, who could have seen this coming?

We never in a million years would have thought steadily increasing prices would lead to more piracy. We are shocked.

Published onSeptember 25, 2023

All streaming services stock photo 1
  • According to a new report, video streaming piracy has seen a strong uptick recently.
  • It is incredibly likely this is due to recent pricing increases for the major services.
  • Income inequality is also associated with an increased consumption of pirated content.

Over the past two years, we’ve seen price increases for a lot of things, with video streaming services included. Netflix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime have all either increased standard pricing or, in the case of Amazon, introduced ads into standard tiers and charged more to remove them.

In related news, a new report from the EU (via 9to5Mac) shows that video streaming piracy is on the rise. It can’t possibly be a coincidence that these two things are happening at the same time.

Obviously, the EU’s report focuses on EU-based information. However, it is very likely the data translates to other parts of the world.

The report looks at the amount of pirated content accessed by an internet user each month. The data shows that this peaked in 2017 with about 11.5 accesses to pirated content per internet user per month for all types of content. At the beginning of 2021, this figure had dropped to just five accesses per user per month. But, in just a year, the number jumped up to seven accesses to pirated content per internet user per month in 2022.

In other words, video streaming piracy was at an all-time high six years ago. It dropped significantly but now is steadily rising again.

The report ascribes most of this recent growth in piracy to pirating TV shows, specifically. Nearly 50% of total aggregated digital piracy (TV, films, music, software, and publications) was illegal downloading/streaming of TV shows.

Along with the price increases from the major providers, the report suggests that low per capita income, a high degree of income inequality, and high youth unemployment are all associated with increased consumption of pirated content.

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