The rise in subscription streaming services has apparently led to a decline in video piracy.
The information on this comes from new analysis by research firm, Ampere Analysis, who looked at how the piracy landscape has changed in line with how much the subscription streaming market had grown.
Ampere Analysis is specifically talking about SVODs here (Netflix, for example), but clearly argues that the increased availability had led to a decline in piracy. In fact, the analysis firm suggests, not only is this a pattern that can be seen in multiple countries, but also the countries where SVOD adoption has risen the most are the same countries that have seen the greatest drops in piracy rates.
When just looking at the U.S. market, the data suggests that while nine percent of "internet users" had used "one or more piracy services/sites in the previous month" during the first quarter of 2017, that figure dropped to only four percent in the first quarter of 2019.
Generally speaking, this pattern was in effect in virtually all countries surveyed to varying degrees. In Spain, for example, the percentage between Q1 2017 and Q1 2019 dropped from twelve to seven, and then there were countries like Germany which although saw a drop, it was minimal in comparison – three down to two percent. The only notable outlier in the data was Denmark who actually saw an increase from three to four percent during the same time-frame.
Although Ampere Analysis is making a clear connection between these two elements, there are other factors that likely do impact on the results to some degree. For example, the piracy protections and enforcement of those protections has greatly changed since 2017 and that change undoubtedly has helped to deter users from pirating content in certain, if not all, the countries listed here.
In spite of the other factors, the research firm maintains that the connection between the rise in SVOD use is directly related to the drop in piracy.
Interestingly, Ampere Analysis does caveat the results by saying that it remains less clear whether the this trend will continue in the future and the reason for this is the direction the market now seems to be going in.
Over the last year it has become increasingly evident that everyone wants to get in on the direct-to-consumer streaming service market and in doing so many brands and companies are looking to remove access to video content they own through third-party operators and providers as a means to add an extra level of exclusivity to their own streaming service.
Besides the repeated suggestions that consumers are not massively keen on multiple subscriptions, Richard Broughton of Ampere Analysis was noted explaining this fragmented approach may help to see a return to increased levels of piracy again.
Broughton explained that it is not the rise of access to these services that's causing the piracy drop, but the access to content that's made available through these services. In other words, if that content is removed and users are expected to go to multiple different places to get different content, they might as well go to the one place to get it again – their favorite piracy service/site.