Online Movie Piracy – Major Setback to The Entertainment Industry

Online Movie Theft

The last decade has witnessed a significant paradigm shift in the way internet and mobile devices are being used. Look around in malls, theatres, metros, trains and other public places, and the most common scenario you’ll notice will be people hooked to their smartphones irrespective of their ages.

We believe it or not but we just can’t imagine a day or to be precise an hour without cell phones. We don’t sleep nowadays, we just give our phones some rest!

We have an easy access to everything be it songs, videos, movies, news, social media and what not. The internet has given us borderless access to unlimited information and recent studies have shown that almost 40% of the world’s population has an internet connection and over one-third of the population owns at least one smartphone.

These are staggering and extremely surprising figures. Internet evolved and how!

And so, did online piracy. Online piracy adapted in its own way in every device and in every sector of the entertainment industry. With the continuous evolution of smart mobile devices, streaming has undoubtedly become the first choice for online media consumption.

According to MUSO’s Global Film & TV Piracy Insights Report 2016, streaming websites made up 73.7% of 78.5 billion visits to access pirated film and TV content last year. These websites host illegal streams to full movies or television shows, and generate great revenue from ads.

Torrent-based sites saw 17.2% of total visits to piracy sites, and direct-download sites made up the remaining 0.01%. Torrent sites witnessed a decline of 19% in the visits in the second half of 2015 compared to the first six months of the year.

Recently, streaming websites like Netflix and Amazon Prime have come up and people are slowly and gradually adapting to this new style of online media consumption but pirates are not far behind to make profits from here also.

It is believed that services like Netflix will bring down the piracy rate by giving various choices to the users and producing their own content. People are now willing to spend a small access fee and get acquainted to the huge world of movies and serials on a single click and on the go!

More and more consumers are joining the race and getting motivated of watching legal content online by subscribing for a nominal fee. The users are happy that they now get to watch high-quality content and without those invasive ads. Not only this, such legal websites do not pose any threat of malware infections to their systems and devices.

But there is a problem, the movies and videos that reach Netflix are not the new ones but rather two-three months old and who has the patience to wait that long?

The film-makers for obvious reasons do not share these releases quickly to preserve their theatre revenues and later sell their movies to Amazon and Netflix on a pay-per-view basis.

Eventually, the filmmakers, movie studios and streaming websites should come together and work out a reasonable subscription price system to make more content available online. It will work as a great business model to bring down piracy and motivate more people to buy subscriptions.

Illegal streaming of movies has all the potential to harm relevant media companies and consumers. According to a joint-study conducted by the KU Leuven University and Stony Brook University, around half of the ads hosted on illegal sports streaming sites are malicious.

By communicating and educating the users the risks of visiting illegal streaming sites, media companies may impel them to opt for legal streaming subscriptions and content purchases.