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Online Piracy to Cost Industry Nearly $52 Billion


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Revenues lost to online piracy are forecast to nearly double between 2016 and 2022 to $51.6 billion, according to the Online TV Piracy Forecasts report from Digital TV Research.

The report covers 138 countries, and the forecasts include revenues lost to TV episodes and movies but not other sectors such as sports or pay TV. The Asia Pacific is poised to become the largest region for online piracy in 2018, overtaking North America. AsiaPac’s piracy losses are expected to double between 2016 and 2022 to nearly $20 billion.

Online TV piracy is also getting more widespread: the top five countries represented 63 percent of the 2016 total, but this proportion will fall to 55 percent by 2022. Eight countries will record revenue losses of more than $1 billion in 2022, double the 2016 count.

The U.S. will remain the largest country by piracy losses, with $11.6 billion forecast by 2022. China—which has taken measures to combat piracy—will see its revenue losses climb by $5.5 billion between 2016 and 2022 to $9.8 billion. However, China’s gap between legitimate revenues versus piracy losses will improve from a deficit of $1.2 billion in 2016 to a surplus of $2.4 billion in 2022. India will climb from eighth in the 2016 rankings ($700 million losses) to third in 2022 ($3.1 billion losses). Brazil will add $1.1 billion in losses over the same period. The U.K., which ranked fourth in 2016 with $1.1 billion in losses, drops out of the top five in 2022. While Mexico is expected to notch up losses of $1.58 billion in 2022, ranking it fifth.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Piracy will never be eradicated. However, it is not all bad news. Piracy growth rates will decelerate as more effective government action is taken and as the benefits of legal choices become more apparent.”

He continued: “Legitimate revenues from OTT TV episodes and movie overtook online piracy losses as far back as 2013. The gap between the two measures is widening.”



About Kristin Brzoznowski

Kristin Brzoznowski is the executive editor of World Screen. She can be reached at kbrzoznowski@worldscreen.com.

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