With rising subscription prices on streaming services, more digital consumers are exploring online piracy and other illegal alternatives to access content.

The European Union recently published a report on online copyright infringement, which noted a significant rise in piracy in the last couple of years. The report also suggests that the previous downward trend observed in previous studies appears to be reversing, with piracy on the rise once more.

The report classified contents affected by piracy into five distinct types, namely TV, film, music, publications, and software. TV content is the most pirated in the EU, while film piracy surged by 17% in 2022. Music piracy has declined since 2017. Publications piracy is second to TV, with manga being a prime target. Software piracy is on the rise, averaging about 0.75 accesses per internet user per month.

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The report utilized econometric analysis to identify the driving factors behind piracy. It revealed that a country’s economic wealth, income inequality, population demographics, and youth employment opportunities significantly influence piracy rates.

Though the data examined by the report is primarily focused on the United Kingdom and member states of the EU, the observed trend is not confined to Europe and can be seen elsewhere across the globe.

For instance, per a survey conducted by YouGov, 61 percent of Filipino consumers said they accessed pirated content in 2022, a 12 percent increase from September 2020. This suggests many Filipinos are still unwilling to shell out money for streaming subscriptions, despite streaming subscriptions in the Philippines being one of the cheapest in the world.

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