Piracy is “more popular” than it’s ever been, according to piracy-tracking firm MUSO’s latest findings, despite ongoing efforts to crackdown on illegal Kodi addons and torrenting sites like The Pirate Bay.
It has found that people visited pirate sites more than 300 billion times in 2017, an increase of 1.6% over 2016. Streaming sites were more popular with users than any alternatives, such as torrent sites.
9 billion of those 300 billion visits came from UK-based internet users, reports TorrentFreak. Pirate site visitor numbers were higher in only nine other countries − the US came out on top, with users racking up 27.9 billion visits throughout the year.
“There is a belief that the rise in popularity of on-demand services – such as Netflix and Spotify – have solved piracy, but that theory simply doesn’t stack up,” said MUSO co-founder and CEO Andy Chatterley. “Our data suggest that piracy is more popular than ever.”
Crucially, however, MUSO’s numbers don’t take into account users of pirate streaming boxes, like those which feature the notorious Kodi software, which have have grown extremely popular over recent years. This suggests the piracy landscape is even bigger than MUSO says it is.
Related: Best Kodi box
Pirated TV shows brought in 106.9 billion visitors, with music (73.9 billion) and films (53.2 billion) following behind, and MUSO says more people accessed pirated TV shows via mobile devices for the first time ever.
They’re worrying findings for broadcasters, which have focused heavily on site-blocking of late, especially for illegal sports streams.
“The piracy audience is huge and yet for the most part, it’s an opportunity that’s completely ignored,” added Chatterley.
“It’s important that the content industries embrace the trends emerging from this data, not only in strategic content protection, but also in understanding the profile of the piracy ‘consumer’ for better business insight and monetising these audiences.”
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Written by David Minister
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