Do you remember those terrible pirated DVDs that when watched, displayed the sound of crunching popcorn and creaking cinema seats? These illegally pirated copies plagued the film industry for many years, until the likes of OTT and SVOD came along.
But where there’s quality content, there are always pirates and now the epidemic has spread, digitally.
A recent survey from the Digital Citizens Alliance showed that 55% of 18 to 29-year-olds have recently visited a content theft, or pirate site, to watch a movie or listen to music. 72% of the same demographic also confirmed that they would steer clear of these kinds of sites if they knew that they could expose them to malware, ransomware, identity theft, or financial loss.
In reality, around 30% of visits to pirate sites exposed the user to malware, ransomware, identity theft, and other such digital dangers.
Streaming media devices and the sports niche are under siege
Now, content piracy has its way of spreading through the veins of the web like a disease, and many of the big streaming media devices have been hit, chiefly Android and Informir Mag 250/254, as the chart shows:
Also, just to illustrate the magnitude of the piracy situation, it's worth mentioning that even live sports have been affected, with baseball, football, mixed sporting events, and tennis the biggest content theft victims.
But, despite piracy spreading across cable, satellite, and OTT services like wildfire, there are ways content providers can protect themselves.
How publishers can protect themselves? The answer is: convenience
One of the main points of focus a content provider can offer to compete against these waves and waves of digital pirates is convenience. Time taken to think about what pirates are offering regarding service, devices, and features can give valuable insights into business strategy decisions.
Think about vital areas of your service including:
- any devices your platform may not be optimised for;
- the level of visual quality you offer your consumers compared to some of the web's most popular pirates;
- how much flexibility you offer concerning a multi-screen experience,
- and last but certainly not least, your overall standards of customer service.
Rory O'Connor, Vice President of Services, Irdeto, explains:
"To keep these growing pirate businesses at bay, content owners and operators need to understand the factors that go into consumer choice, including a full picture of piracy and strategies pirates use to grow into legitimate businesses. Content owners and operators need to make sure they are implementing a comprehensive, 360-degree anti-piracy strategy. This process includes detection, monitoring, source identification/watermarking, intelligence-gathering, investigations and enforcement. With the right information and a trusted security partner, content owners and operators can prevent piracy while also adapting offerings to more closely match consumer demand."
Food for thought indeed. There may be pirates out there, but it's your responsibility as a content provider to offer a top quality user experience while having the ability to adapt and innovate. Roll with the punches, implement the right strategy, and you have the power to beat content theft, one measure at a time.