Media piracy

The scale of the phenomenon

Services that illegally offer content access are predominantly well organized and run with the intent to obtain financial gain. The number of these services has soared so high that its present scale is higher than the number of the other legitimate services with an audio-visual content in Poland.

According to Anti-Piracy Protection 72% of illegal services in Poland gain benefits from their activities. Predominantly their income comes from ads or is the effect of application of the combined model i.e. advertisements and payments collected from the users for the access to the content (altogether 64%). Only 8% of the services  is being financed solely by their users.

The Internet users choose pirates’ platforms for their fast and easy access, wide range of content and low costs (or the lack of them). The scale of piracy has been also caused by the insufficient  copyright protection on our country despite the obligation to adopt the national law to the EU provisions. Owners pf illegal services monetized their activity without bearing the costs related to the purchase of content and by taking advantage by the legal loopholes.


Every other Internet user uses illegal content sources

Based on the Deloitte’s research every other Internet user aged 15-75 i.e. more than 12 million Poles uses illegal content sources. It is almost as many as the number of people who bought tickets for Polish films shown in the cinemas in 2016 or 6,500 times the number of people sufficient to fill the National Opera room in Warsaw. Most of the respondents indicated that they use both types of websites, i.e. legal and illegal ones. By spending a few zloty or several zloty monthly on subscription fee to the pirates’ services Poles feed these entities with around PLN 900 million of income per annum with an estimated revenue in amount of PLN 745 million (after taxes and transactions fees).

While using the illegal sources to content the users most often reach for video files and audiobooks. The highest rate of the users which use only the illegal sources are those who seek online books (17%) and video content ( 14%).Vast majority of the Internet users declares that they don’t resign from using the legal sources. The highest rate of people obtaining content only form the legal sources appears in the live broadcasts market  (61 %), press (57 %) and music (55%) whereas the lowest in the video market (27 %). Subsequently around 50 % of the Internet users obtain the content only from the legal sources.

The big share of the Internet users is not aware of the fact that they obtain the content from illegal sources. Even 57 % of respondents declare obtaining the content only from the legal sources. These assurances however are inconsistent with the actual data regarding the content acquisition as the results of the survey show that only 49 % of the Internet users obtain the content only from the legal sources. Almost one third of the respondents thinks that pay TV services offer exclusively the legitimate content. Over 28 % of respondents cannot asses this statement. Thus more than half of the survey population is not aware of the fact that by remitting the payment  for the watched content might support illegal services.

The data come from the report “Internet Piracy – Losses to the Culture and Economy. Analysis of the Internet Piracy Impact on the Polish Economy on Selected Cultural Markets” commissioned by Stowarzyszenie Kreatywna Polska and prepared by Deloitte Advisory Sp. z o.o.