Young people leading big rise in illicit IPTV consumption, says AAPA

Some 17.1 million people across the EU and UK used illicit IPTV services in 2021, according to a report by the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA), which also estimated that piracy cost legal pay TV providers €3.21 billion for that year.

While the 17.1 million who accessed illicit services equates to 4.5% of the population, the proportion is alarmingly higher among younger Europeans. Some 11.8% of people aged 16-24 opted to access unauthorised IPTV. This represents nearly 5.9 million young individuals engaging in the use of unlawful IPTV in Europe, according to the AAPA.

The report estimates that €1.06 billion in unlawful revenue was generated by copyright infringing IPTV providers in 2021.

The AAPA noted that the COVID pandemic created a spike on streaming consumption that contributed to the boom in piracy. Some 13.7 million people or 3.6% of the population are estimated to have consumed illicit IPTV services in 2018, meaning that the 2021 figure represents a 25% increase.

However, it also cited EUIPO research that showed piracy was not much lower in the pre-pandemic period. According to the EUIPO research, the percentage of people in Europe who admitted using illegal online sources for digital content was at a high 10% in 2013 and 2017 and slightly lower 8% in 2020. Meanwhile, a third of younger eurpeans used digital content illegally this year, in line with the 2019 numbers.

Illicit IPTV is defined as streaming scheduled and video-on-demand content without the copyright owner’s consent

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