Nearly 5 million UK adults, some 10% of the population, use pirate TV streaming services or apps, according to YouGov.
The research firm said that 4.9 million people currently have access to platforms such as illegal Kodi boxes, chipped Amazon Fire TV Sticks, and illegal streaming apps on smartphones and tablets.
It also estimated that a further 2.6 million people expect to start accessing pirated streaming platforms in the future, with around 400,000 looking to start using them “within the next three months”.
“The research highlights the scale of the challenge that pirated streaming pose to subscription services,” according to the YouGov report.
“Since they entered the mainstream around 12 months ago, paid-for TV providers have come under significant pressure with 17% of users of the platforms – around 830,000 people – having already cancelled at least one subscription service. However, the number of subscriptions cancelled is likely to be lower given the discrepancy between households and individuals.”
YouGov said that indicators suggest this is “just the beginning”, claiming that 31% of those who use pirated streaming platforms but have paid-for TV services believe they will cancel their subscriptions over the next 12 months.
“Not only are those currently using these services starting to end their subscriptions to paid-for TV services, but over six in ten (63%) say they will recommend them to friends and family,” said YouGov.
It also noted that adoption of pirated platforms is especially high among millennials, with 18-34 year-olds accounting for 37% of users. “There is a real danger that having got used to getting TV services for free it will hard to convince them to pay in the future”.
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