The internet ushered in a brave new world of content distribution, and as Napster so famously demonstrated, opened the floodgates for illegally acquiring digital content. It started with music, but quickly moved on to video content. Now in 2017, most ten year olds know how to download a movie without paying for it. However, as the name suggests, despite its ease of use, video piracy is still illegal. Apparently, most Americans just don’t care.
A recent YouGov survey commissioned by security specialist Irdeto interviewed 1,190 U.S. adults and found that 39% of them do not care about the financial damage that video piracy inflicts on studios and the media industry as a whole. In fact, 32% of them admitted to personally pirating content themselves on a regular basis.
Piracy is a huge problem for any kind of digital content creator as it often takes a serious cut out of their revenue. Production studios spend inordinate amounts of money to create high-quality content because they expect to make that money back on the back end. Instead, consumers may love a piece of content, and instead of buying it and giving money back to the creators to allow them to make more, they simply illegally download it.
Not everyone pirating content fully understand the implications of their actions. In fact, the same YouGov study found that only 69% of people believe that streaming or downloading pirated content is illegal…meaning 31% believe that pirating video content is a legal activity. This is valuable information for the content owners and productions studios because it means they can solve at least part of their piracy problems by investing in information campaigns to educate the public on their actions.
Unfortunately, education will only solve part of the problem, which is why Irdeto commissioned this study. As a security specialist company they want to encourage movie studios and content owners to invest in various content protection strategies. Which, actually isn’t a bad idea. While education can help cut back on video piracy, there are many Americans who, quite frankly, don’t care how video piracy affects content owners. In that same study, 19% of those surveyed said that the financial damage caused by piracy would cause them to stop consuming illegal content altogether.
“The negative impact that piracy has on the content creation industry extends much further than lost revenue,” Lawrence Low, VP of business development and sales at Irdeto, said in a statement. “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.”
Video piracy is not going away anytime soon, but it is beginning to have a large enough impact on the digital content industry that consumers can expect new and innovative security measures in the not too distant future.