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66% of consumers polled still access pirated content in India: Irdeto survey

MUMBAI: A new online consumer survey from Irdeto, which offers digital platform security, found that 71 per cent of Indian consumers polled are aware that producing or sharing pirated video content is illegal while 64 per cent know that streaming or downloading pirated content is illegal.

Despite this high level of awareness, 66 per cent of respondents still choose to watch pirated content. However, the survey also found that over half (56 per cent) of Indian consumers who watch pirated content could be convinced to pirate less, or even stop watching, when told that piracy could hinder studio investment and cause a drop in the quality of content.

The online research was conducted in partnership with YouGov and polled over 500 Indian adults aged 18+.

The research found that one in three consumers (30 per cent) who watch pirated content in India are most interested in watching movies that are currently being shown in the cinema, followed by TV series (23 per cent), and live sports (13 per cent) and Blu-ray edition of movies (13 per cent).

Interestingly, only 6 per cent of consumers who watch pirated content are interested in viewing digital service movies or TV programmes from content providers like Netflix, Hulu, etc. This reflects the state of video consumption in India, which is still rooted in a preference for local content but increasingly demonstrating an appetite for Hollywood content and more regional films.

Sanjiv Kainth Country Manager at Irdeto Access India Pvt Ltd“India’s OTT market holds huge potential for operators and content providers, especially with the rise of 129 million urban mass consumers who will drive India’s consumer story. Demand for content on any device will only grow – but so will piracy if it is not adequately addressed. Piracy not only damages revenue streams, but also deters content creators from investing in new content. It impacts the creative process and could provide consumers with less choice. It is important that consumers are aware of the long term impact of this behavior, and that content providers have a 360-degree approach to security and anti-piracy that can prevent pirates from stealing additional market share,” said Irdeto country manager, India Sanjiv Kainth.

In regard to the most popular devices used to consume pirated video content, Irdeto’s survey found that 48 per cent of Indian consumers who watch pirate content use their laptops and computers most to watch this content while 25 per cent use their smartphones. Streaming sites and devices were among the least popular channels to watch pirated content, standing at one per cent each, while smart TVs, Google Chromecast and Android set-top boxes are used by a mere 3-4 per cent of consumers, among those who watch pirated content.

“Pirate businesses will continue to capitalise on increased demand for content, but innovative operators are making headway in the fight against piracy. Consumer education, a compelling legal video service and a robust security and anti-piracy programme are the best ways to mitigate online and streaming piracy. A comprehensive anti-piracy strategy that includes watermarking, detection and enforcement can prevent pirates from stealing market share,” said Irdeto VP services Rory O’Connor.