Chinese Aged 35-44 Biggest Viewers of Pirated Content
An online consumer survey from Irdeto has found that 84 percent of Chinese consumers polled are aware that producing or sharing pirated video content is illegal. In contrast, only 58 percent think that streaming or downloading pirated content is illegal, revealing a lack of understanding that in fact both forms of piracy are illegal.
This calls for greater efforts in educating Chinese consumers that all forms of piracy are illegal. Education is expected to have a positive impact. Over half (57 percent) of Chinese consumers who watch pirated content stated they are willing to pirate less, or even stop watching, when told that piracy could hinder studio investment and cause a drop in the quality of content. Interestingly, Chinese consumers aged 35 to 44 are most likely to pirate (73 percent) – more than the younger demographic aged 18 to 24 (68 percent) – and are also the most willing (65 percent) to pirate less or stop watching.
With regards to the devices used most frequently to consume pirated video content, Irdeto’s survey found that 41 percent of Chinese consumers who watch pirated content use their laptops or computers to access this content while 43 percent use their mobile devices (smartphones or tablets). The latter is more pronounced among the younger demographic aged 18 to 24 and reflects a shift in viewer consumption habits, where 52 percent indicated that mobile devices are their most frequent method of consuming pirated content.
“The findings of the survey show that piracy will continue to be a major business challenge for operators in the near future. There is also a need for broader consumer education so that they will understand the negative implications that piracy can cause to the industry,” said Marco Xie, General Manager, China, Irdeto. “Content providers should proactively identify where piracy leaks are happening and what content is being pirated, so that operators can not only mitigate revenue loss, but also increase revenue potential by capitalizing on latent demand.”
A majority of the consumers (37 percent) who watch pirated content in China are most interested in watching movies that are currently shown in theatres, followed by TV series (18 percent) and Blu-ray edition of movies (12 percent). This reflects the consumption patterns of Chinese consumers who have a strong preference for Hollywood blockbusters that hit the Chinese box office.
However, competition from online video sites are expected to compete for market share and grow in popularity, especially among local video content service providers like Tencent, Youku Tudou and others that are investing in more local original content. These emerging players will not be spared from piracy unless they play their part in investing in content protection and educating consumers on the negative impact that piracy has on the industry, which ultimately affects the quality of a consumer’s viewing experience.
“Consumer education in China plays an important role in any anti-piracy strategy, especially given the lack of knowledge regarding what is legal and illegal, and is most effective when there is a high level of willingness among consumers to change their behavior,” said Rory O’Connor, Vice President of Services, Irdeto. “If industry players can elicit this change in consumer habits, alongside a compelling legal video service and a 360-degree approach to a robust security and anti-piracy program, they will be able to prevent pirates from stealing market share.”
Irdeto also conducted a Global Consumer Piracy Survey which you may view via this link.