13.7 million EU citizens streaming unauthorised IPTV

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019
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Online pirated content access slows down in the EU but illegal IPTV providers gain nearly EUR 1 billion

  • 15% EU-wide decrease in access of pirated online content from 2017-2018
  • Pirated online content accessed 9.7 times per user per month on average across the EU-28
  • Nearly one billion EUR is collected by illegal IPTV providers in the EU each year

Consumption of pirated online film, television and music content in the EU is falling, according to a new report by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Today’s research shows that between 2017 and 2018, overall access to pirated content in the EU fell by 15.1% on average.

The fastest decline was seen in consumption of pirated music, which dropped by 32% on average across the EU, followed by consumption of pirated films (19.2% decrease) and consumption of pirated television content (7.7% decrease).

However, the average internet user in the EU accessed online pirated content 9.7 times per month in the first nine months of 2018, on both fixed and mobile devices.

The report draws on a data set of more than 70 billion internet connections over a 21 month period between January 2017 and September 2018.

The Executive Director of the EUIPO, Christian Archambeau, said: “Copyright-intensive industries, including film, television and music, support over 11 million jobs in the EU, and piracy, with the associated loss of revenue it brings, represents a direct threat to those industries. Despite the downturn in pirated consumption shown in our study, there is still much work to do to tackle this problem, and we hope these findings will help decision makers as they develop policies and solutions.”

In addition, a second study published today by the EUIPO shows that up to 13.7 million EU citizens stream unauthorised internet protocol television (IPTV), at a cost of EUR 941.7 million per year.

This can be through one-off payments, purchasing illegal set top boxes, or via long-term subscriptions sold by unauthorised retailers.

The average single user in the EU spends EUR 5.74 per month on unauthorised IPTV, according to the report.

The Online Copyright Infringement in the European Union report examines consumption of copyright-infringing content in the 28 EU Member States, for TV programmes, music and film, using a variety of desktop and mobile access methods, including streaming, downloading, torrents and ripping software. The report uses data on the illegal consumption of digitally pirated films, TV shows and music gathered over a 21-month period, from January 2017 to September 2018 in all 28 EU Member States. The report also draws on data sources from Eurostat and the European Audiovisual Observatory.

The Illegal IPTV in the European Union report was commissioned by the EUIPO from the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy and Management (CIPPM) at Bournemouth University, and provides the first assessment results of the magnitude of illegal PTV across the EU in terms of active users and unlawful revenue obtained from infringing activities.