The association of rights holders Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA) and the Center for Intellectual Property, Policy & Management from the University of Bournemouth (UK), publish the result of their latest study on pirate IPTV services in Europe. And the least we can say is that this flourishing industry is doing well.
Last year the sector would have generated more than 1 billion euros in turnover in Europe (1.06 billion euros according to their estimates). This figure is up compared to a study carried out three years earlier, which then estimated this turnover at 941.7 million euros. In total, European pirates now spend on average just over €5 per month on illegal IPTV services (€5.22).
Pirate IPTV sites generate around 1 billion euros per year in Europe
In fact, the most surprising thing is that the sector’s turnover has not exploded in recent years. However, as explained by our colleagues from TorrentFreak, the explanation is very simple: “contrary to the inflation that prevails in the rest of the economy, the price of pirate IPTV subscriptions has actually gone down”explains the blog.
As a reminder, pirate IPTV sites market illegal access to streaming pay TV channels. The price of subscriptions is derisory, for access to a very wide range of channels, including sports channels whose cumulative subscription costs can easily represent a major shortfall for rights holders.
Some sites only offer access to .m3u playlists that users can configure in their devices, for a viewing experience close to what legal channel distributors offer. But some services go even further and outright sell “decoders”, in other words preconfigured media centers with their pirate access.
According to the study, the use of pirate IPTV sites is especially prevalent among 16-24 year olds (11.8% of the population studied). The explanation is that these services are cheaper alternatives to paid services that normally exceed the entertainment budget of this population. This category is also bearing the brunt of the consequences of the fragmentation of the offer, with the launch of ever more streaming platforms which disperse the legal offer and encourage more subscriptions.
Younger generations also generally have a more favorable attitude towards piracy. The detailed data by country is also very interesting. In Europe. it is above all the Netherlands and Luxembourg that have the highest proportion of users of pirate IPTV services (respectively 8.2% and 7.9%). France and Germany are practically on an equal footing in this area (respectively 2.5 and 2.4 million users).
Surprisingly, IPTV piracy is mostly prevalent in the West. The countries of Eastern Europe are those where the population seems to have the least recourse to these illegal sites. In Romania, for example, less than 1% of the population uses this type of service.