16 December 2022CopyrightStaff Writer

IPTV devices generate €1bn of illicit revenue per year

Report spotlights illegal consumption of internet-based TV | Legal pay-TV providers suffered more than €3 billion in losses for 2021.

The illegal consumption of internet-based TV—or internet protocol television (IPTV)—is generating just over €1 billion of revenue per year, according to a new report released this week.

Commissioned by the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA), the report found that legal pay-TV providers incurred €3.2 billion in losses in 2021 due to pirated TV in Europe.

It also found that nearly 5% of the EU’s and UK’s populations use illicit IPTV.

“Illicit IPTV is a relatively recent phenomenon in the realm of digital piracy,” explained the report. “Several factors contribute to its proliferation, including the low entry barriers for pirate services and the high rewards with limited risk of enforcement.

“Technical and legislative challenges make fighting this form of piracy difficult.”

In 2021, nearly 17.1 million individuals (4.5% of the population) were using illicit IPTV services. This represented a 25% increase compared with 2018, when 3.7 million individuals (3.6% of the population) used illicit IPTV.

Overall, said the report, this was a considerable share of the population considering that the European market consists of 161 million people who watch internet-streamed TV overall (based on Eurostat Household Survey 2020).

This share hiked among young Europeans, with 11.8% of people aged 16-24 accessing unauthorised IPTV.

The Netherlands has the highest share of the population using illicit IPTV (8.2%).  Economies where IPTV piracy is high (ranging from 6% up to 8%) include Luxembourg, Ireland, Sweden, Malta, Denmark, Finland, the UK, Cyprus, Slovenia, and Spain.

“A number of factors come into play when defining the reasons for the increase in users of pirated IPTV,” added the report. “It is important to emphasise the overall proliferation of IPTV services. Consumers have become more familiar with accessing AV content by this means.”

According to the AAPA, consumer perception toward copyright and online infringement plays an important role, along with the fact that infringers and online criminals have become increasingly sophisticated so that users are often misled by the professional look of some illicit IPTV services.

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