Contrary to popular belief, the main users of illegal streaming services are growing in age and income; the piracy streaming epidemic is not restricted to the lower income group as a survey found that the higher income group represents 43% – or the majority of users of illegal streaming services, compared to 25% for the low income and 35% for mid-income groups.
The findings came to light after Asia Video Industry Association’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) commissioned a survey conducted by YouGov.
The study also revealed that 33% of Taiwanese consumers have accessed streaming piracy
websites or torrent sites to access premium content without paying any subscription fees. In addition, 28% of consumers use a set-top box which can be used to stream pirated television and video content.
The non-licensed set-top boxes, also known as Illicit Streaming Devices (ISDs), allow users to access hundreds of pirated television channels and video-on-demand content, usually with a low annual subscription fee. The ISDs often come pre-loaded with illegal applications allowing ‘plug-and-play’ access to pirated content.
QBox, UBox and EVPad remain the most popular illicit streaming devices purchased by consumers.
Neil Gane, the general manager of AVIA’s CAP, commented: “Consumers are funding crime groups as well as wasting their money when purchasing illicit streaming devices, when they find their ISD can no longer access live sports matches or their favourite TV shows.”
Among the consumers who purchased the ISDs, half of them stated that they had cancelled all or some of their subscription to legal pay-TV services.
Furthermore, many of the consumers streaming pirated content are young. The survey found that 47% are between18-24 year- olds and 61% are 25-34 year-olds used ISDs or other apps/services to view entertainment content illegally.
Gane concluded: “The global content industry is now collaborating to prevent and disrupt illegal feeds of live sports, TV channels, and video-on-demand content through enforcement against the illicit IPTV operators and blocking orders against piracy streaming websites and piracy applications.
“ISDs can never provide quality programming and a ‘service guarantee’, no matter what the seller may claim.”