Advertising revenue for websites showing pirated content in the US has been slashed by between 48% and 61% in the past year, according to a report by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG).
TAG, which describes itself as an advertising industry initiative focused on eliminating fraudulent website traffic, released its findings on Thursday, October 5, analysing statistics between July 2016 and July 2017.
The study found that digital ad revenue linked to infringing content was estimated at $111 million last year, 83% of which came from “non-premium advertisers”.
The report said that without “aggressive” steps by the industry, an additional $102 million to $177 million in advertising revenue, depending on the breakdown of premium and non-premium advertisers, would have been earned.
“We have not won the war against ad-supported piracy, but the battle is joined, and we are making good progress,” said TAG CEO Mike Zaneis.
“The collaborative efforts of hundreds of companies using TAG-validated providers of anti-piracy tools is cutting off the revenue for the criminals who profit from stolen content and reducing their incentive to distribute it,” he added.
The study compiled a list of approximately 672 websites with a high degree of infringing content, and split advertisers into two categories: premium, defined as a public company or recognisable brand, and non-premium, those used for Virtual Private Network services, gaming or dating.
Of the aforementioned $111 million revenue, $36 million came from premium advertisers, which the study said was “far from trivial but a relatively low percentage of the overall $60 billion figure” for online ad revenue overall.
advertising, online copyright, Trustworthy Accountability Group, TAG, revenue