German TV piracy losses hit €1.8bn in 2022, says Vaunet

Vaunet, the Berlin-based trade body for private audiovisual media in Germany, has published a report which says TV piracy continues to cause severe economic loss in Europe’s largest economy. It called on EU regulators and the German government to “introduce effective measures to stop the illegal use of live TV”.

Frank Giersberg

According to an extensive study undertaken last year, Vaunet says: “5.9m people in Germany watched illegal live TV signals in 2022. This resulted in losses of €1.8bn, and foregone taxes and social security contributions of €390m.”

Frank Giersberg, managing director of Vaunet, said: “The results of the study show illegal consumption of live TV remains a mass phenomenon with serious economic and social consequences. Once again, we appeal to the government and regulators: live content needs live protection on the internet. We see no clear sign of support from Brussels or the German government, and demand changes be made promptly.”

The research, carried out for Vaunet by Goldmedia, revealed that piracy has actually increased noticeably in recent years. The main live TV genres watched illegally are drama, sports, documentaries and news/information.

In 2022, 72% of those streaming live TV illegally did so at least once a week, up from 54% in 2018. The largest group is men aged 24-33. However, pronounced use of illegal live TV streams was observed among the entire population between 24 and 63, the share of older users rising especially strongly in comparison to 2018.

On average, those watching illegal linear TV streams in 2022 did so for an average of about 73 minutes per day. The devices most commonly used were smartphones, PCs and laptops, along with apps and software installed on streaming sticks and boxes.

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