If your Halloween costume includes an eye-patch, cutlass, some serious swagger and the phrase, “Aye, matie,” you’ll probably be best advised to stay away from Hollywood parties where the word “pirate” this week is being connected to “$52 billion loss.”
A new report from Digital TV Research posits that revenue losses due to piracy are expected to double between 2016 and 2022 to the tune of $51.6 billion, a significant chest of gold, and that total doesn’t include sports and pay TV.
The good news? Legal revenues from OTT TV episodes and movies are increasing far more rapidly than are revenues lost to pirates.
“Piracy growth rates will decelerate as more effective government action is taken and as the benefits of legal choices become more apparent,” said Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, who also advised that piracy won’t ever be totally eradicated.
Losses for the U.S. TV and movie industries are expected to swell to $11.6 billion by 2022, up from $8.9 billion today. China ($9.8 billion), India ($3.1 billion), Brazil ($2.6 billion) and Mexico ($1.6 billion) round out the top 5 countries for losses. Overall, eight countries will record revenue losses of more than $1 billion in 2022 – double the 2016 count.
Although U.S. losses are tabbed to grow $2.6 billion (30%) over the period, China’s losses are forecast to grow more significantly, increasing $5.5 billion (131%), despite recently taking steps to combat piracy. India will fare even worse, from a percentage standpoint, as it sees losses grow $2.4 million, or 343%.
The report should be an eye opener for companies considering entering the OTT market (and who isn’t?), but Murray’s point that legitimate revenues are increasing at a far faster rate than pirate losses should be underlined and in bold print.
The future is streaming video. Dealing with piracy is an ongoing issue of streaming companies, but it’s also one that affects traditional broadcasters, too, especially in the age of 4K video cameras and high-end audio capture. To an extent, it’s simply a business expense… and, as we know, all business expenses can be controlled with the right tools.