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The State of OTT Piracy in 2020

Watch the complete panel from Streaming Media East Connect, "Is Too Much Choice No Choice at All?" on the Streaming Media YouTube channel.

Learn more about OTT and piracy at Streaming Media West 2020.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Ali Hodjat: Obviously, piracy is an important issue, which is impacting revenue for all the services. A recent report from ABI Research showed that 17% of worldwide streaming is actually using content illegally. Before the pandemic, there was a lot of focus on live sports piracy, obviously that has stopped. So the piracy has shifted more toward movies and premium TVs these days, although as you see the sporting events starting without any fans in the studio, again, the content will be played live and the piracy will go back to the same level.

One thing that I saw recently was from a piracy infringement tracking company called MUSO, and they were actually saying there was a 36% increase in average daily torrent downloads. So again, shifting more towards the premium movies and TV series.

So what's happening is, all the OTT streaming service providers are in some form looking at different ways that they can stop piracy or combat piracy. They're looking at different technologies like forensic watermarking and fingerprinting that will enable us to identify piracy on the web. So in some form, they're either assessing technically the deployment costs or scalability or time-to-market factors related to implementing these technologies. And again, the anti-piracy market is significant. I think ABI Research was estimating 10% of revenue of the total content security market is going through the anti-piracy specific solutions. So again, that's another important factor to talk about.

Matt Rivet: To what extent do you think this spike in piracy is just an issue of search and discovery? It's much easier for me to get a program through an illegal site than it is to try to figure out which service it is it's on that I already subscribed to.

Ali Hodjat: That's true. And that's one of the issues that the anti-piracy companies need to solve. We always talk about, uh, how to stop pirate services, but finding them is another thing. And as you see, the users find the pirated content easier than finding it from the regular services. Looking at that, we're going to talk about content discovery in the legal services, obviously, but the aggregation of all these different services would make it easier for subscribers to find what they want to watch, even through piracy sites. And that's something that I think is important for the anti-piracy companies to look into and solve.

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