Study Says Piracy Set to Cost Streaming Players More Than $50 Billion

Given the sheer amount of effort that media companies put into combating piracy, it should come as no surprise to learn that there are numerous studies about the impact of the phenomenon on their revenue-earning operations. For example, a recent study conducted by Digital TV Research suggests that piracy will cost streaming services a total of $52 billion in lost revenues from 2016 to 2022. Of course, this is an imprecise figure for a number of reasons, but its magnitude is nonetheless a reminder of the significant impact that piracy can have on media companies.

Besides the impact of piracy, the study produced some other interesting revelations as well. For example, the study suggests that the revenues of streaming services are increasing at a faster pace than the lost revenues, which should come as welcomes to both existing streaming services and those interested in launching new streaming services. Furthermore, it turned out that the United States was the place expected to suffer the most losses to piracy, followed by China as well as a number of other piracy-prone countries such as Brazil, India, Mexico, and South Korea.

How Can Piracy Be Combated?

There are a number of methods that piracy can be combated. However, most of these methods are not mutually exclusive, which is why media companies use a mix of them in their continuing fight against the practice.

For example, one way that piracy is being fought is through the law, whether that means coming up with surer ways to catch offenders or putting tougher penalties on those who are caught. Another example is making streaming services more accessible to interested individuals, which is something that works well in combination with the law. After all, the law acts to make piracy less desirable to interested individuals, while making streaming services more accessible makes them more attractive to interested individuals at the same time. Since these two options are essentially competitors, this means that their combination can cause a lot of people to become legitimate customers as opposed to choosing piracy. Of course, this does not mean that using these methods can convince all of those who pirate media content to become paying customers, seeing as how at least some of them will just stop consuming the media content that they used to consume instead of signing on to become paying customers. However, these methods can nonetheless make an enormous difference for streaming services as well as other media companies.

For proof, look no further than the fact that the revenues of streaming services are increasing much faster than the potential revenues that are being lost to piracy. Furthermore, it is important to note that some streaming services such as Amazon and Netflix already have an international presence, while others are no doubt interested in establishing the same. As a result, as streaming services become more and more accessible throughout the world, it seems probable that there will be further successes in combating the problem of piracy. With that said, it also seems probable that the phenomenon will always be something that the media companies have to watch out for, as shown by the still surprising fact that the United States will be the one place to see the most losses in potential revenues.


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