Athletes performing in pay-per-view sporting events may be paid even for views of streams distributed illegally, said a study of consumers by All About Cookies, to find out which kinds of content they stream and how they view them.
Among millennials, 64% admitted to watching sports via unofficial streaming. NFL, NBA and MLB games were streamed most often. 28% of the people surveyed have used a VPN to stream live sports, said the study.
Rates of password sharing and access via free trials were also measured across different streaming services, with YouTube TV users measuring highest at 53%; while at 79%, Amazon Prime users were most likely to have their own paid accounts.
Overall, All About Cookies found that more than one-fifth of users are using a free trial, or someone else’s login information, to watch their favorite shows and movies.
More than one-quarter of people admitted to watching sports via live streaming, overall. The portion of illegal sports streamers changes significantly across different demographics, hitting a peak of 64% among millennials.
Despite Security Concerns, More Than Half of Internet Users Watch Bootleg Streams [Survey]. Article. December 15, 2023. by Josh Koebert (Author) and Mindy Woodall (Editor). All About Cookies
Why it matters
Some of the piracy use-cases noted in the report are well known. For example, distributors of live pay-per-view events could be taking multiple hits against revenue, first by missing out on payment for the event by the entity that stole the stream, and subsequently by anyone who paid the pirate for illegal access.
Others might take some people for surprise, but simply reflect the ubiquity of visual communications in these times; such as “the Swiftie Effect.” More than 20% of respondents said “they’ve posted live streams of the concerts from their seats so that others could avoid lofty ticket prices and still see the show. 36% of those surveyed have watched otherwise-restricted content via social media.”