Overall visits to piracy sites up 14%, and up 32.7% to film piracy sites, says MUSO

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Piracy analytics company MUSO released research that measured 220.6 billion visits to piracy websites across all media industries during the period from Q2 of 2022 through Q1 of 2023, a 14% overall increase over the previous year.

The report drew from MUSO’s “Piracy by Industry” dataset, generated by the company’s analytics platorm; which measures demand from streaming, torrent, web download and stream-ripping piracy sites.

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On closer examination, visits to piracy websites for film content accounted for 13.4% of the total (29.6 billion visits), which was up by 32.7% over the previous year.  Visits to piracy websites for TV content accounted for 45.8% (100.9 billion visits), a 5.6% increase.

Visits to Piracy Web sites, 2022-23. Source: MUSO

Demand by geography

Delivery by pirates through streaming is nearly universal for TV content and is used to deliver more than half of pirated film content, says MUSO.  The United States is the greatest consumer of pirated TV programming, followed by the Russian Federation and the UK.  MUSO reasoned that piracy is driven as much for marketing reasons as it is by cost, access or copyright protection. For film, India was found to be the leading consumer, followed by the US and Turkey.

Demand by source

MUSO found that the majority of delivery (62%) was through direct access.  Search engine results made up about 30%.  While many point to social media as a major driver of piracy, MUSO measured it to be the conduit for just shy of 3%.

Further reading

Piracy Data and Audience Demand in the Film and TV Industries.  July 2023. Source: MUSO

Why it matters

Despite best efforts to fight piracy, incomplete understanding of the range of threats, and despite wishful thinking to the contrary, infringers find new ways to circumvent protections and distribute stolen content and services.

In some countries – particularly where site blocking has been legislated by national governments – piracy actually is trending flat or downward, but the global trend remains upward.

Knowledge of piracy trends down to localized levels provides vaulable guidance for media providers looking to concentrate their antipiracy efforts on the greatest threats, and for those seeking new market opportunities where legal distribution falls short.

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