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New Irdeto Survey Finds One Out of Every Three US Consumers Watch Pirated Content; 39% Unconcerned About Negative Impact of Piracy on Content Creation


AMSTERDAM – 18 January 2017 – A new survey by Irdeto, the world leader in digital platform security, found that 74% of US consumers said that producing or sharing pirated video content is illegal. Conducted online by YouGov, the survey also found that 69% of respondents think that streaming or downloading pirate content is illegal. While a majority of consumers are aware of piracy and are able to recognize pirated content, that knowledge isn’t preventing many consumers from pirating. Nearly one-third (32%) of respondents said that they watch pirated content. With many consumers eager to pirate content to seek out the programming they desire, pirate businesses continue to grow. Content owners, movie studios and operators need to continue to introduce innovative product offerings as well as invest in additional content protection strategies to prevent pirates from stealing additional market share.

In addition, the survey found that when told that pirated video content can result in studios losing money, meaning they cannot invest in creating content, 39% of consumers said that this knowledge has no effect on the amount of pirated video content they want to watch. Even more concerning is that only 19% of respondents said that the financial damage caused by piracy would stop them from watching pirated content altogether. However, many consumers do not fully understand the negative impact piracy has on the content creation business. When consumers watch pirated video content such as movies, TV series or live sports, it results in content creators losing money that would be dedicated toward future video content, while also typically benefiting criminal organizations.

“The negative impact that piracy has on the content creation industry extends much further than lost revenue,” said Lawrence Low, Vice President of Business Development and Sales, Irdeto. “Piracy deters content creators from investing in new content, impacting the creative process and providing consumers with less choice. It is becoming increasingly important for operators and movie studios to educate consumers on the tactics employed by pirates and to further promote innovative offerings that allow consumers to legally acquire content.”

In regards to the most popular pirated content, the survey found an even split between consumers who prefer to pirate movies and TV shows. 24% of consumers who watch pirated content are most interested in watching TV series. An additional 24% of respondents are most interested in pirated movies that are currently showing in theaters. The survey also found that consumers are interested in pirating DVD and Blu-ray movies (18%), live sports (10%) and OTT original content from Netflix, Hulu, iTunes and others (9%).

“Education on the impact of piracy to consumers is an important element of an anti-piracy strategy,” said Rory O’Connor, Vice President of Services, Irdeto. “It is important for content owners to educate themselves on the three elements of consumer choice when selecting a service: content, value and convenience. To avoid pirates stealing market share, content owners and operators need to make sure they are implementing a comprehensive, 360-degree anti-piracy strategy that includes watermarking, detection and enforcement.”


The research was commissioned by Irdeto and conducted online from December 29, 2016 – January 3, 2017 by YouGov. Total sample size was 1,190 US adults (aged 18+). The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

About Irdeto

Irdeto. Building a Secure Future.™

Irdeto is the world leader in digital platform security, protecting platforms and applications across multiple industries, such as media & entertainment, payments and automotive. Our solutions and services enable customers to protect their revenue, create new offerings and fight cybercrime. With nearly 50 years of expertise in security, Irdeto’s software security technology and cyber services protect over 5 billion devices and applications for some of the world’s best known brands. Our unique heritage as a subsidiary of multinational media group Naspers (JSE: NPN) means that we are a well-established and reliable partner to help build a more secure future. Please visit Irdeto at

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Irdeto Media Team