As part of Sandvine’s Global Internet Phenomena series, we have released several spotlight reports that examine the popularity and prevalence of video and television piracy around the world, along with the challenges facing content owners globally.
With the issue of video piracy becoming a growing topic of interest to many, we decided to refresh the data collected from those reports into a singular whitepaper, which provides real network data on the prevalence of video piracy worldwide in 2019.
This is the largest direct measurement study of video and television piracy; over a billion records from fraudulent subscription television piracy activity from multiple regions worldwide were analyzed.
|Middle East and North Africa||23.4%||25.3%|
(The data in the whitepaper covers the 2019 results extensively, and the 2020 data is a spot check of the phenomena in the region; the 2020 data is not as comprehensive in duration and sample size.)
For the first time, we can see rates of video and television piracy published for Europe and the Middle East at 5.8% and 23.4% respectively – this suggests that subscribers turn to illicit services merely to get access to content, as there are few legitimate means of attaining the content they desire to view.
Since the 2018 Global Internet Phenomena Report, there has been growth in both the American market (up from 5.5%) and Canadian market (up from 8.3%).
The report focused on data gathered during the summer of 2019 and, when revisiting the sample, we see that subscriber numbers have grown throughout the year – this is broadly correlated with the soccer (football) season.
Sandvine believes that emergent forms of piracy such as the “fully-loaded” Kodi ecosystem and subscription television piracy represents a real threat to the revenue streams of network operators; this is not only because the content is being stolen, but because in some instances subscribers are paying to pirate these services, with no money going into the pockets of the content creators or rights holders.
While legal services like Netflix, HBO, and Disney+ are more widely adopted in North America, subscription pirate television services and the “fully-loaded” Kodi ecosystem have grown rapidly in emerging markets after having no adoption five years ago.
The piracy figures reported in this report should also be considered a floor and not a ceiling because our data does not capture all video piracy conducted from a traditional web browser, and it is very likely that many households are not participating in both emergent forms of video piracy covered in this report.
If you would like some additional technical context and background on these issues, we encourage you to check out our whitepaper or contact us directly.