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The volume of legitimate streaming services available to consumers may be contributing to an increase in piracy, according to “The Global Internet Phenomena Report”.
Networking equipment company Sandvine released its report on October 2.
Last month, a blog post preview of the report noted that a large number of streaming services each host exclusive content. For example, “Game of Thrones” is exclusively available on TV network HBO, while “House of Cards” can only be watched on Netflix.
Sandvine said that to subscribe to multiple services is expensive for consumers, and many TV shows are not immediately available outside of the US.
This reportedly leads to consumers signing up for one or two streaming services and choosing to access content from other platforms via piracy sites instead.
To support this theory, the report pointed to the increased use of filesharing platform BitTorrent.
Use of the site has been declining over the past few years, but Sandvine claimed that use of BitTorrent is now on the increase as file-sharing has become more popular.
This type of peer-to-peer piracy was similarly identified as a concern in a report by digital security company Irdeto in August.
Irdeto explained that while piracy is assumed to be dominated by streaming and direct downloads, peer-to-peer piracy, facilitated by file-sharing, is still a popular way for consumers to access film and TV content illegally.
Sandvine’s report said that file-sharing accounts for 3% of global downstream traffic and 22% of global upstream traffic—and 97% of upstream traffic of this nature is via BitTorrent.
Downstream traffic relates to data that is being received by a computer or network, whereas upstream traffic refers to data sent from a computer or network.
The report noted that consumers are “savvy” about obtaining content via file-sharing platforms. Although authorities require internet service providers to block infringing sites, when one site gets taken down, another pops up, Sandvine said.
Another finding of the Sandvine report is that video content accounts for more than half (56%) of all traffic on the internet. Meanwhile, 15% of the downstream volume of traffic across the whole internet is a result of Netflix, the report claimed.
A number of reports have recently noted the changing landscape of piracy in the modern day.
For example, in August, a second report by Irdeto claimed that the US, UK, and Germany are the top hotspots for illegal live streaming, while Australia’s government said that online copyright infringement has dropped there.
In contrast, a report from the UK Intellectual Property Office in July said that overall levels of piracy have stayed the same, although there has been a drop in the volume of young people accessing infringing material.
Sandvine, The Global Internet Phenomena Report, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Netflix, internet traffic, BitTorrent, file sharing, internet users