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One in four Malaysian consumers using illicit streaming box

One in four consumers in Malaysia have a TV box that can be used to stream pirated television and video content, according to a survey commissioned from YouGov by the Asia Video Industry Association’s (AVIA) Coalition Against Piracy.

According to the survey, of the 33% of consumers who purchased an illicit streaming device for free streaming, three in five stated that they cancelled all or some of their subscription to legal pay TV services.

Some 35% of respondents said that hey cancelled their subscriptions to a Malaysian-based online video service as a direct consequence of owning an illicit streaming device. Some 19% gave up international and pan-Asian subscription services in favour of using an illicit box.

The survey found that free streaming apps are particularly favoured among 18-24 year-olds, with two in three cancelling legitimate subscription services as a result of owning illicit streaming devices.

The Malaysian figures are comparable with those in other Asian markets surveyed by YouGov. The outfit’s consumer research has found that 15% of Singapore consumers, 20% of Hong Kong consumers, 28% of Filipino consumers and 34% consumers of Taiwanese consumers use a TV box which can be used to stream pirated television and video content.

“The illicit streaming device ecosystem is impacting all businesses involved in the production and distribution of legitimate content. ISD piracy is also organised crime, pure and simple, with crime syndicates making substantial illicit revenues from the provision of illegally re-transmitted TV channels and the sale of such ISDs,” said Louis Boswell, CEO of AVIA.

Neil Gane, the general manager of AVIA’s Coalition Against Piracy, said, “Piracy websites and illicit streaming devices typically have a click-happy user base, and are being used more and more as clickbait to distribute malware. Unfortunately, the appetite for free or cheap subscription pirated content blinkers users from the very real risks of malware infection. The type of malware embedded within the piracy ecosystem can include particularly harmful malware such as remote access trojans which allows the hacker to activate and record from the device’s webcam without the victim being aware.”