Global Piracy Reaches Almost 190bn Visits in 2018

Cyber Security

MUSO, the global authority on digital piracy, has revealed that there were more than 189bn visits to piracy sites throughout 2018. MUSO’s global piracy data platform tracks piracy in film, TV, music, publishing and software.

FieldHouse Associates

Throughout 2018, TV was by far the most popular content for piracy, with almost half (49.38 percent) of all activity focused on sites providing access to television programmes, followed by film (17.09 percent), music (15.87 percent), publishing (11.49 percent) and software (6.16 percent).

Similarly to 2017, the US topped the list of countries with the most visits to piracy sites (17bn) in 2018, followed by:

United States Of America: 17,380,038,844 (17bn visits)

Russian Federation: 14,468,624,277

Brazil: 10,283,315,744

India: 9,589,665,210

France: 7,339,837,375

Turkey: 7,335,249,001

Ukraine: 6,126,077,097

Indonesia: 6,075,238,380

United Kingdom: 5,750,562,133

Germany: 5,356,667,376

Whilst developed markets saw some decline when compared to 2017, traffic in certain emerging markets increased. In Brazil, piracy traffic increased by 12.5 percent to over 10bn visits year on year, while traffic in Indonesia increased by more than 9 percent to 6bn visits year on year. Globally, software piracy increased by 17 percent between 2017 and 2018, while publishing piracy increased by 11 percent.

Andy Chatterley, CEO and co-founder, MUSO comments: “Digital piracy is still prevalent globally. Television is the most popular content for piracy and given the fragmentation of content across multiple streaming services perhaps this isn’t surprising. Whilst it’s important to restrict the distribution of unlicensed content, there is a wealth of insight to be garnered from piracy audience data that gives a comprehensive view of global content consumption.”

Almost 60 percent of all piracy visits are to unlicensed web streaming sites, mirroring trends in legal consumption, which is moving away from ownership to on-demand. Public torrent networks, once the main method of piracy delivery, now only equates to 13 percent of piracy visit activity. Stream ripping also saw more than a 13% percent decline between 2017 and 2018 (from 8.9bn in 2017 to 7.7bn visits in 2018). Music saw the with the largest overall decline in piracy (34 percent). This was partly caused by a 16 percent drop in stream ripper visits since the closure of in 2017.

Chatterley continues: “Interestingly, in 2018 we have seen a ten percent increase in people bypassing search engines and going directly to the piracy destination of their choice. Simply focussing on take-downs is clearly a whack-a-mole approach and, while an essential part of any content protection strategy, it needs to be paired with more progressive thinking. With the right mindsight, piracy audiences can offer huge value to rights holders.”