The new survey from the Intellectual Property Office, which highlights online streaming and downloading trends, claims that the BBC iPlayer, YouTube and ITV Player were the top platforms for accessing TV programmes online – though 21% of users accessed some content illegally.
In the film category, ten million UK internet users were found to have accessed movies online. Netflix was responsible for 44% of this activity, with Amazon and YouTube also ranked among the top platforms for film downloads and streaming. Here, 25% of users were found to have accessed some content illegally.
Overall, the survey said that 62% of UK internet users have downloaded or streamed music, TV shows, films, computer software, videogames or e-books.
One in five consumers still access some content illegally, though there was a 10% increase in UK consumers accessing content through legal services, said the report.
“It’s great news that a huge proportion of UK consumers are going online to enjoy music, TV shows, video games and e-books legally, supporting our creative industries to grow and showing the benefits of making legal content widely available,” said Intellectual Property minister Baroness Neville Rolfe.
“By building a clear picture of online streaming and downloading trends we can work with industry and international partners to tackle the problems of internet piracy and increase public awareness of theways people can download and stream legally.”
The news comes a week after the government launched a consultation on plans to increase the maximum sentence for “commercial-scale online copyright infringement” from two to ten years imprisonment.
It also follows the government’s consultation Green Paper on the BBC, which suggested various options for funding the corporation including a subscription model – sparking a fierce debate about the future of the corporation.