UKIPO Infringement Tracker finds UK piracy changed little in 2020

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According to an March 2021 report from the UK Intellectual Property Office, while the COVID pandemic drove viewing upward during the first quarter of 2020, as compared with the same quarter of 2019, TV and film piracy actually declined as a percentage (sports rose slightly).  This article quotes from that research.

Legal TV streaming went from an average of 93 hours a month in 2019, to a 2020 rate of 122 hours, while legal movie streaming went from 57 to 77 hours.

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TV and movie piracy down in the UK in 2020

According to the report, “while many reported no change in their use of illegal sources, some noted that owing to their general consumption in entertainment increasing, so too did their use of illegal sources.”

For movies, the overall level of infringement (i.e. anyone who had used an illegal source for films in the past three months) went from 27% in 2019 to 20% in 2020, with a notable increase in those using only legal sources.

Downloaders and streamers Downloading Streaming
Only legal 80% (+7%) 77% (+2%) 84% (+6%)
Mix 17% (-5%) 14% (+0%) 13% (-5%)
Only illegal 3% (-1%) 9% (-2%) 2% (-1%)

TV infringement decreased from 17% in 2019 to 14% in 2020, with a slight increase in those using only legal sources.

Downloaders and streamers Downloading Streaming
Only legal 86% (+3%) 82% (+2%) 89% (+3%)
Mix 12% (-2%) 11% (+1%) 9% (-2%)
Only illegal 2% (0%) 6% (+1%) 1% (-1%)

 

Sports piracy was up in 2020, slightly

Infringement went from 34% in 2019 to 37% in 2020.

Streamers
Only legal 63% (+4%)
Mix 25% (+2%)
Only illegal 13% (+2%)

 

Read this report via the UK Intellectual Property Office

Why it matters

The piracy declines in the UK seem to align with declines in a November 2020 European Union Audiovisual Observatory report,  which found that the percentage of people who were willing to pay for content increased from 25% in 2017, to 42% in 2020, a 69% increase.  People are also researching more, as to whether Web sites offer legal content (up from 2017’s 14% to 2020’s 20%).

The report concludes that “while many reported no change in their use of illegal sources, some noted that owing to their general consumption in entertainment increasing, so too did their use of illegal sources. Motivations for doing so remained consistent with those uncovered in the (2019 reporting period); a lack of access to specific content on streaming subscriptions they use, availability on existing entertainment subscriptions and/or an unwillingness to pay additional costs for content outside of what they already pay for.”

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