Number of European internet pirates declines, legal media consumption is rising

Posted 31 July 2018 16:30 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

The number of internet users in Europe that sometimes illegally downloads or streams music, movies, series, books or games has dropped between 2014 and 2017. At the same time, spending on legal products has been increased in the same period, according to a report from the University of Amsterdam and research company Ecorys based on surveys with nearly 35,000 respondents in 13 countries.

The researchers studied seven European countries: France, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Germany.

In all European countries internet piracy decreased, except for Germany. The number of German internet pirates slightly increased, according to the report because German download more illegal games. Nevertheless, the percentage of illegal downloaders in Germany is with 29% of the internet population the lowest in Europe. Likely because Germany has severe penalties for illegally downloading consumers.

In Spain and Poland the percentage of illegal downloaders is relative high with respectively 64% and 52% of the internet population.

Besides the seven European countries, the researchers also investigated internet piracy outside Europe in Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan and Thailand. Because numbers of previous years were not available for those countries, it’s unknown whether piracy either increased or decreased.

From all researched countries, the percentage of illegal downloaders is the highest in Indonesia. In that country 84% of the internet population downloads illegal content. With 23%, Japan scores the lowest number.

In all studied countries the spending on legal media increased the last three years. The price of legal content appears to be main driving force for illegal downloading. Countries with a high purchasing power see fewer pirates.

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