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Asia Pacific most accepting of pirated content

Media content protection specialist Irdeto has undertaken research to uncover patterns of paid-for and pirated content viewing across demographics and key geographies.

Viewing pirated content is much more prevalent among young people, with willingness to access pirated content generally decreasing with age, The Irdeto research has revealed that the majority of American (70%) and UK (72%) consumers are unlikely to watch pirated content. This is different in Asia and Australia.

A much smaller proportion of respondents noted that they were unlikely or extremely unlikely to watch pirated content (40% Australia, 31% Singapore, 40% India and only 9% in Indonesia), leaving a large majority of consumers in Asia Pacific who are open to consuming entertainment through illegal means.

Conversely, 62% of 18-24 year olds in the UK and 54% of 18-34 year olds in the US admitted to watching pirated content, a number much higher than older respondents.

The research was conducted among a representative sample of over 4,700 adults to understand and address consumer behaviour around media content consumption in today’s multi-screen world. It uncovered trends in piracy, viewing habits and service delivery platforms across the US, UK, Australia, Singapore, India, and Indonesia.

While viewing of pirated content is clearly prevalent, the research suggests that in the US and UK, many consumers would prefer to access content through legal channels. More than 90% in the US and the 52% in the UK who do watch pirated content say it is a few times a year or less, signalling that in markets where more content is available, there is less of a need to download it illegally.

Despite the proliferation of devices, TV is still clearly the most popular medium for watching sports, with 53% of consumers in the UK mostly watching sports on TV at home and 4% mostly watching on TV in a pub or bar. However, multi-screen is growing, with 5% of consumers mostly watching sports on a laptop or desktop and 2% through a mobile device. Americans followed the same pattern with 50% of respondents watching sports at home on TV. Only 17% of Americans watch sports outside the home.

The number one reason most consumers in Australia (26%) and Singapore (31%) chose to watch pirated video content was because the video content is not available legally in their location. However, price was a top driver for consumers in India (29%) and Indonesia (36%) to watch pirated video content.

“One of the most interesting findings from our survey was that availability, poor quality, and security issues are deterrents for downloading illegal content,” said Bengt Jonsson, Vice President APAC, Irdeto. “This is a clear message to operators to provide high quality content at the right price. This could be a differentiator to remain competitive in a diverse region like Asia Pac.”

Across the board, findings show that TV remains king in the majority of the markets surveyed. However, in some more developing countries, other ways of viewing content, such as on smartphones and tablets, is gaining momentum.

The majority of respondents in Australia (51%), Indonesia (43%), and India (39%) indicated that they prefer watching TV over smartphones, tablets and laptops. However, in Singapore, the preferred way to view content is on a laptop (36%), and in India, laptops are a close second choice (36%).

“The laptop and desktop have overtaken the TV as the most preferred device in some parts of Asia. This signals the onset of the multi-screen phenomenon in Asia Pacific. Countries like Singapore tend to be early adopters of technology and the trend is also evident in Asian countries such as Indonesia and India. It is a reflection of how hungry for content the consumers are in this region, and their desire to own and consume content on multiple screens,” added Jonsson.

In the US, the most popular means of watching TV, movies, and sports is live as they are broadcast on TV, with 49% of respondents choosing live TV over pre-recorded or internet TV. Most Americans (59%) are happy to wait for new shows and content to become available before watching.

The research was commissioned by Irdeto and conducted in May and June 2014 by YouGov and Populus among a representative sample of 4,721 adults in the US, UK, Australia, Indonesia, India and Singapore.

This story was originally published by IBC Content Everywhere.