Published on: February 24, 2023
Last month, YouGov fielded a survey for Variety Intelligence Platform (VIP+), which showed that 23 million U.S adults pirated TV shows, movies, or live sports in the last year. Most of this illegally viewed content is available in a legal paid streaming service, and according to the YouGov/VIP+ survey, a good 60% of those downloading or watching content illegally are aware that the pirated content is legally available.
So why exactly do people view content illegally?
When asked why they pirate shows or movies, almost half of the survey respondents who admitted to illegal viewing said it was because the content was too expensive to watch. While this may not be true for individual purchases, the accumulated price for subscribing to every streaming platform to keep up with TV shows can be a bit costly.
However, avoiding exorbitant prices wasn’t the only reason people pirated titles. Other respondents that engaged in pirating content said they did so because the content wasn’t available in their region or anywhere else.
The YouGov/VIP+ survey found that 37% of the respondents that pirated content watched and/or downloaded more illegal content in 2022 compared to 2021. The high volume of pirated content consumption may be a result of the peak TV boom that occurred in 2022.
That said, viewing content illicitly comes with risks — 37% of those illegally downloading or streaming content reported their device got infected with malware in the process. Still, this is not enough to stop millions of Americans from pirating content.
Nevertheless, the number of titles available for piracy in 2023 may reduce as a result of declining content spend. This would ultimately reduce the volume of illegal content consumption.
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