Comedy is most pirated genre, study reveals

Ted Lasso

Synamedia revealed the value of entertainment piracy is three times bigger than sports piracy with comedy being the most pirated genre of entertainment.

The leading video software provider found in a study by Ampere Analysis across seven countries including the UK, the fragmentation of rights across more services is now affecting piracy in the entertainment market as it has for sports.

The research pointed to titles such as Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Apple TV+ Ted Lasso driving privacy in comedy, with half of all pirate viewers streaming comedy illegally. Piracy in action and adventure genre, as well as the crime and thriller category respectively followed behind comedy.

The data revealed stopping piracy of a single Hollywood major movie release can trigger revenues of between $130m and $280m in the US alone, with super-hero blockbusters offering the biggest opportunities. It was found for a popular title like Spider Man: No Way Home, stopping piracy would lead to potential revenue for a studio streaming service of over $400m, based on the true annual lifetime value of streaming subscribers.

Synamedia said if piracy was stopped, sports would create $9.8bn in potential revenue in the seven surveyed markets, however this figure is dwarfed by the possibility of unlocking an additional $21.8bn revenue by converting movie and TV pirates to legal services.

Of the seven countries surveyed, Synamedia reported that the market with the most to gain is the US, with the potential of $13.7bn annually by stopping movie and TV piracy and an additional $5bn related to sports. This would generate $5.9bn in annual income for US streaming providers, with the 28 most heavily pirated movies and TV titles alone contributing up to $1.8bn in new revenues. Whereas Germany, Italy and the UK were recorded to have the lowest levels of piracy.

Football was identified as the star of sports piracy attraction, with the FIFA World Cup the most pirated according to the findings, despite being available on free-to-air TV.

Research also found that 44% of affluent consumers pay to pirate live sports, despite most pirates falling into lower income groups, in addition to 91% of respondents who have access to five or more legal video subscription services have also watched illegal content.

Avigail Gutman

Avigail Gutman, Synamedia’s VP of intelligence and security operations said, “Unless the industry takes action, the fragmentation of premium content compounded by the current economic climate will continue to drive viewers to both paid and free piracy services. This represents a real risk to rights holders, broadcasters and streaming providers. As well as using tools and techniques to protect content and services, operators can counter the rise in piracy by ensuring content is easy to find and meeting consumers’ demands for mobile-first services, as well as more aggregated services and billing.”

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