Pirates are 'Untapped Pools of Wealth' Says UK Firm

By Tom Pritchard on at

In recent times figures have shown that pirates are more than willing to pay for legal streaming services, even if that doesn't cause them to completely give up the piracy habit for good. While the entertainment industry often portrays them as the enemy, British firm MUSO is taking a slightly different approach. While it still offers tools designed to take down pirate content, it considers there an opportunity in piracy.

According to Ofcom people have started spending more time watching TV and films through services like Netflix and Amazon prime, rather than the traditional TV channels, and according to Chris Anderson, MUSO’s Head of Film & TV, it's not the king of thing you can ignore:

“Technology has completely transformed the way people are able to watch TV and the days of being tied to a TV schedule are well and truly behind us, with streaming services now officially the preference for the majority of viewers.

“The word ‘officially’ is key – because what these figures from Ofcom don’t take into account is the many hundreds of thousands of people who are streaming TV in the UK through unlicensed services and sites.”

It's worth making clear that the idea that accessible streaming can eradicate piracy is quite prevalent, the figures don't add up. After all the IPO's recent figures show that piracy levels have remained static, though the kind of content people are accessing illegally has changed. Similarly while pirates seem willing to subscribe to premium services, that doesn't mean they've given it up for good - for a variety of reasons.

“The idea that services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have eradicated piracy is a fallacy. Our figures show that global piracy has increased year-on-year, in spite of the rise of streaming services. The UK had 4,776,616,717 total visits to film and TV piracy sites in 2017 alone.

“Piracy audiences are one of the great untapped pools of wealth – they have extremely high intent to access content but are often simply unable to. Finding ways to access this audience could be the secret bringing higher profits back to broadcasting.”

Anderson isn't excusing pirates, but it is nice to hear from someone who seems to understand threatening pirates is never going to work. People want to watch things, and as the pirates always say if it was easy and affordable they wouldn't need to break the law. Like Saturday Premier League football. If the games were actually broadcast in the UK fewer people would end up watching one of the many dodgy streams.

The only issue is working out the limit. With every company under the sun wanting to launch their own premium streaming service there will be a point where people will refuse to subscribe to them all and avoid the associated spiralling costs. [TorrentFreak]