A report commissioned by the Australian government has found a drop in piracy rates for 2016 which is attributed to improved
availability of legal streaming alternatives. In other words if Big Content stops being paranoid and starts being nice to people they are more likely to stop pirating. Who would have thunk it?
What is more amusing is that pirates are more likely to buy the legal streaming product.
This flies in the face of statements made by anti-piracy groups who insist that Aussies simply don’t want to pay for legal content. However, the report seems to confirm that Aussie pirates only download when they are being treated badly by content providers.
Down-under Big Content was been slammed for treating Aussies as second class citizens debuting material later, less conveniently, and at increased cost. It appears to have been pulling up its socks lately and is being rewarded by drops in piracy.
The Department of Communications and the Arts sampled 2,400 people aged 12 and up. It aimed to understand consumption of four types of online content – music, movies, TV shows, and video games. It also sought to understand attitudes to piracy, including the role pricing plays in media consumption.
Six out of 10 Internet users consumed at least one item of digital content during the period, slightly up from in the same period 2015. Downloading had dropped from 43 percent in 2015 to 39 percent. Despite it being the most popular download category overall, the largest drops were witnessed in the music sector, from 29 percent last year to 26 percent in 2016.
Streaming increased from 54 percent to 57 percent since last year, with TV shows and movies making the biggest gains.
“The proportion of internet users who streamed TV programmes increased from 34 percent to 38 percent and the proportion of internet users who streamed movies increased from 25 percent to 29 per cent ,” the report said.
The most-consumed content were TV shows (41 percent), music (39 percent) and movies (33 percent) and video games (15 percent).
“In 2016, 27 per cent of consumers or sharers had used Netflix, up from nine percent in 2015, and making it the third most popular service overall. The proportion using Netflix for movies increased from 16 percent in 2015 to 41 percent in 2016, and the percentage using Netflix for TV programs rose from 12 percent in 2015 to 31 percent in 2016, meaning it was the most popular service for both movies and TV programs,” the report reads.
The report estimates that, over the first three months of 2016, 23 percent of Australian internet users aged 12+ consumed at least one item of online content unlawfully, which equates to approximately 4.6 million people. This was a significant drop from the 26 per cent who had consumed unlawful content in 2015.
The survey indicates that pirates were also the biggest consumers of legitimate content. In 2016, just six percent of internet users exclusively obtained content from pirate sources.
This confirms Swedish findings which showed that people who pirate some content are also more likely to pay.
Half of the consumers cited convenience as the main reason to use paid services, with 39 percent citing speed. Wanting to support creators and not wanting to use pirate sites tied at 37 percent each but the former was down from 43 percent in 2015.
43 percent of infringers said that better pricing would be the factor that would be most likely to reduce their consumption of illicit content. Availability came second, with 35 percent complaining about content not being available in Australia at the same time as elsewhere, and 31 percent complaining about a lack of availability.