Worldwide visits to film and TV piracy sites up 36% and 9% respectively, says MUSO

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According to data collected by the piracy analytics company MUSO, piracy will continue to rise in 2023; due to economic pressures on consumers and the fragmentation of availability across so many paid streaming platforms.  It’s a double-edged sword, as while piracy gives consumers a way to save money, piracy also provides video providers insights on consumer demand and the value of their programming.

Based on audience demand for more than 450,000 films, TV seasons and episodes, MUSO found that about 57% of stolen film content was consumed through streaming – with torrenting down to 16.5% – nearly all stolen TV programming (95%) is consumed that way, with torrenting at only 2%.

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Film piracy

MUSO said that across the top ten films most pirated globally, the United States has the largest piracy audience, more than 70% larger than second-place India; and consistently high across all media sectors.

For Q4 2022, Avatar: The Way Of Water 2022 was the third most popular title despite being released in the middle of December (Source: MUSO)

2022’s top three film piracy categories worldwide were Adventure, Science Fiction and Action.  While Drama was not in that top three, it had the most titles across MUSO’s piracy data.

TV programming piracy

When House of the Dragon, HBO’s follow-up to Game of Thrones, was released during the summer, it quickly climbed to the top of the piracy heap with a 17% market share in audience demand, but it peaked in September by year-end had fallen to fifth place.  74% of its piracy originated from unauthorized streaming sites rather than through theft directly from the program’s creator.

Learning from piracy

MUSO finds that video programmers and distributors can learn a lot from the measurement of illegal distribution and consumption, including:

  • Audience demand, preferences and affinities
  • Demand for distribution in unlicensed area, to help prioritize new (legal) distribution initiatives
  • Ad targeting and increased revenue
  • Program valuation for licensing and distribution, based on detected demand

Piracy data also increases video providers’ ability to target anti-piracy and enforcement initiatives

Read the full report

MUSO Film and TV Report (2022 summary). Industry research report. February 2023. MUSO

Why it matters

MUSO reminds us that “The piracy ecosystem is the largest video-on-demand platform in the world.” Piracy data offers a more holistic view of market demand to help drive more value for their content.  The data provides an opportunity for rights-holders to give audiences what they actually want to see, through data-driven content scheduling, acquisition and commissioning. In comparison, traditional demand datasets provide a limited and at times biased view of audience demand.

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