Access to pirated online content has declined in the European Union, but illegal IPTV providers earn almost a billion euros, according to a report by the European Union's Intellectual Property office. Consumption of pirated content from films, television and online music in the EU is also declining according to the same report.
Research shows that between 2017 and 2018, overall access to pirated content in the EU fell by an average of 15.1%. The fastest decline was seen in the consumption of pirated music, which fell by an average of 32% across the EU, followed by the consumption of pirated films (down 19.2%) and consumption of pirated television content (down 7.7% %).
However, the average Internet user in the EU accessed pirated content online 9.7 times a month in the first nine months of 2018, on fixed and mobile devices. The report is based on a data set of more than 70 billion Internet connections over a 21-month period between January 2017 and September 2018.
“Copyright-intensive industries, including cinema, television and music, support more than 11 million jobs in the EU and piracy, with the associated revenue loss, poses a direct threat to these industries,” said Christan Archambeau, executive director of EUIPO.
"Despite the slowdown in pirated consumption shown in our study, there is still a lot of work to be done to resolve this problem, and we hope that these discoveries will help policymakers develop policies and solutions."
In addition, a second study published by EUIPO shows that up to 13.7 million EU citizens broadcast television by unauthorized protocol over the Internet (IPTV), at a cost of € 941.7 million per year. This can be done through one-time payments, buying illegal decoders or through long-term subscriptions sold by unauthorized resellers.
The average single user in the EU spends € 5.74 per month on unauthorized IPTV, according to the report.
Although the number is still high, there is no doubt that the forceful arrival in the market of legal streaming services, such as Spotify or Netflix, helped to reduce the number of users looking for this illegal content, as well as the will of the search for content that, at the moment, is accessible at affordable prices to most consumers.