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  • Writer's pictureOliver Walsh

Annual Piracy Consumer Survey Reveals Shifting Trends in Asia-Pacific Piracy: A Look at the 2024 Report

Despite a decline in traditional piracy methods, the 2024 CAP report warns of a concerning rise in Asia-Pacific piracy fueled by social media and messaging platforms, underscoring the urgent need for a unified response.

The Asia Video Industry Association's Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) unveiled its 2024 annual consumer survey by YouGov. The survey reveals a worrying trend: despite a decline in the use of pirate TV boxes, apps, and illicit streaming or torrent websites, piracy remains on the rise, now affecting 59% of consumers across the Asia-Pacific region, up from 52% last year. The culprit? An uptick in piracy via social media and messaging platforms.

Key Findings and Regional Insights

The report points to a significant escalation in piracy, particularly in the Philippines and Vietnam. These countries have seen year-over-year increases of 12% and 13%, respectively, marking them as the region's hotspots. Their populations have piracy rates of 70% and 71%.

Social media and messaging platforms have become the predominant channels for piracy, with a 14% rise in their use across the region. Traditional methods, such as pirate websites and TV boxes, are now less popular, with only 13% of consumers turning to websites and 11% relying on pirate TV boxes, both declining since last year.

Despite the challenges, there is encouraging news on the awareness front. An overwhelming 89% of consumers are conscious of the adverse consequences of piracy, including criminal profiteering, malware risks, and damage to local industries.

Judicial and administrative orders to block access to pirate sites have proven effective, with significant numbers of consumers in Indonesia (59%), Vietnam (54%), Malaysia (42%), and Singapore (28%) now reducing or completely stopping their access to pirate sites.

The Platforms' Role

The most alarming trend identified in the survey is the dramatic increase in consumers seeking pirated content via social media or messaging services. CAP continues to work with major platforms to mitigate this trend but has flagged concerns about the lack of cooperation from some, particularly Telegram.

In response to these findings, Matt Cheetham, General Manager of CAP, stated,

"We are greatly encouraged by the continuing downward trend of consumers accessing pirate content from illegal websites, which reflects the work done over many years in the region by industry and governments. However, it is clear that social media and messaging platforms must do more to prevent their services being used to find and access pirate content."

Time to Amplify Accountability

The continued rise of piracy via social media and messaging platforms should be a wake-up call for stakeholders across the board. Platforms must recognise their role and ramp up efforts to curb illegal activity. While CAP's collaborative approach with some platforms is commendable, it's clear that voluntary measures alone are insufficient.

Platforms prioritising user privacy must balance this with ensuring their services aren't exploited for unlawful activities. Governments, too, should emphasise legislation and enforcement to hold tech companies accountable. Ultimately, the fight against piracy in Asia-Pacific requires a united front where industry, government, and digital platforms work cohesively to protect content creators and consumers alike.

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