28 per cent of all visits to piracy sites in 2015 were via mobile devices (an 8 per cent increase year over year), and visits to YouTube ripper sites during the year saw a 25 per cent increase. Use of the ripper sites was primarily to download mp3s of music videos on YouTube.
The findings are according to the recently released Global Piracy Insights Report from MUSO, a content protection company that provides networks with ways to connect to piracy audiences.
At MIPTV, Christopher Elkins, Muso’s chief commercial officer, described the main trend from the report: piraters are less interested now in downloading content; rather, they are streaming it and they are using Google to find this content. According to Elkins, this gives networks a better chance to reconnect with these audiences and steer them toward legal options.
Overall, piracy levels saw a 5 per cent decline, which can be somewhat attributed to the increasing use and global availability of services like Spotify and Netflix.
For more on the findings, we spoke with Elkins:
Found Remote: What are the most popular places for people seeing illegal content to go to?
Elkins: MUSO tracks many thousands of piracy sites, which attract different segments of the global TV piracy audience. But naming three specific examples:
filmon.com was still one of the highest visited sources for streaming unlicensed TV content in 2015, as FilmOn battled in the courts with major US TV networks over their right to re-broadcast TV content.
4shared.com attracted significant traffic during 2015 as a searchable cyberlocker meaning anyone can upload illegal content for others to find and download
putlocker.is saw significant piracy traffic in 2015 with a huge library of current and historic tv shows and film content
FR: Are more people streaming TV illegally or downloading it?
Elkins: Traffic to streaming websites for TV content was significantly greater at 68.5% than torrent and direct web downloads combined at 30.5% of visits to piracy websites.
FR: Which torrent sites are most popular for TV pirating?
Elkins: Kick Ass Torrents and the Pirate Bay were popular destinations for visitors looking to download TV content.
EZTV was the most popular torrent site exclusively dedicated to TV torrent downloads.
FR: Which streaming sites?
Elkins: WatchSeries (thewatchseries.to) saw a significant rise in popularity at the end of 2015 with increasing visits to this website.