Study: Netflix drives down Oz piracy

NarcosNew streaming services are helping to drive down illegal downloading in Australia, new research shows.

An independent study found that 25% of Australian adults had pirated content, which was down 4% on the 2014 figure.

This was attributed to the launch of popular new services such Narcos platform Netflix, Stan and Presto, and new government legislation, and a proposed notification scheme had led to drops in incidents and frequency of pirating.

Streaming service awareness grew from 26% in 2014 to 32%, with 33% of respondents saying they had accessed free SVOD services trials. Some 66% of those intended to take up the full paid-for service in future.

Significantly, 33% of those pirating content less frequently cited legal alternatives as the main reason for their behaviour change, though 63% cited moral considerations.

However, persistent pirates maintained high levels of frequency, with 40% claiming to have pirated more this year than last year.

The study was commissioned by the not-for-profit IP Awareness Foundation and conducted by research company Sycamore in conjunction with Omnipoll, which together surveyed 1,265 anonymous respondents aged 18-64.

Piracy remains a significant issue for intellectual property owners in Australia, though the commercialisation of streaming content has been proven in other territories to stem to tide of illegal downloading, and the new research suggests a similar pattern in the Australasian country.

IP Awareness executive director Lori Flekser said: “Piracy has always needed a range of measures to tackle the problem as we all know there is no silver bullet.

“This fall in piracy rates is definitely largely attributable to the combination of the government’s new legislation, plus the ongoing efforts of the creative industries to continue delivering great content at accessible prices to Australian consumers and the work being done to educate consumers about the impact of copyright theft.”

Netflix launched in Australia in February, around the same time as Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media’s rival Stan, and Foxtel and Seven West Media’s Presto.

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