TV content piracy and illicit downloads caused French rights-holders a €1.35 billion loss in 2016, with 13 million Internet users involved in the practice, stabilising at 27 per cent of users.

According to a study from consultancy EY consulting there was no reduction in piracy despite the growth of legitimate offerings. “Injecting back this loss into the legal business model could generate more than 2,000 direct jobs, and more for indirect jobs, bring back €430 million in taxes and social revenues and generate €265 million revenues for the rights holders and the creative market,” the study found.

In 2016, some 2.5 billion items of content were illegally downloaded, with 8.4 million users carrying out direct downloads, 6.8 million streaming, with some 4.1 million using peer-to-peer platforms. The study estimates the DVD, VoD and pay-TV sectors were the most affected by such practices, which are also a major threat for the catch-up offerings of FTA TV channels.

In order better to combat TV piracy, the study recommends offering better value legitimate offers, which 75 per cent of users say they would pay for. Public authorities must also play a more active role in the anti-piracy fight applying more automatic sanctions to repeat offenders and stepping up co-operation at a European level.

A parallel study from anti-piracy association Alpa suggests that paradoxically, young people carry out fewer illegal downloads than older adults, with the average age is of the latter category being 38. Thirty-two per cent of online pirates are between 35 and 49 years-old while the 15-24 demographic represents no more than 18 per cent. Fifty-six per cent of them are male users, 34 per cent in the upper social classes of the population. Illegal downloads are also increasing on smartphones compared with tablets.

French Internet users now number 45.7 million with 20 per cent of time, or 20 minutes a day, spent online dedicated to video viewing, according to a separate study from Mediamétrie.
On a daily basis, the mobile is seen as the primary screen to surf the web.

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By Expat