Online piracy down as streaming services gain popularity

The number of Australians consuming pirated movies, television shows, music and video games is at its lowest level in five years, according to a new survey, with more people choosing to pay for content online than consume it unlawfully.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, welcomed the significant decrease in the consumption of pirated content and said it was in part due to the rising popularity of subscription entertainment services – such as Netflix, Spotify, Stan and Disney+ – and the rollout of ubiquitous high-speed broadband via the National Broadband Network.

The Online Copyright Infringement Survey 2019, commissioned by the Department of Communications and the Arts, found that 80 per cent of survey respondents download, stream or share online content (lawfully and unlawfully), up from 78 per cent in 2018. Streaming was the preferred method of consumption for music, movies and TV programs.

“As internet speeds increase and more Australians connect to the National Broadband Network, online entertainment is becoming a bigger part of people’s lives,” Minister Fletcher said.

In the survey, 2,463 Australians aged over 12 recorded their online usage across the categories of TV programs, movies, music, live sport, video games, e-books and PC software.

The number of respondents who reported consuming infringing online content halved, from 32 per cent of respondents in 2018 to 16 per cent in 2019. At the same time, the number of people who reported only consuming content lawfully rose – from 68 per cent in 2018 to 84 per cent in 2019.

“It is pleasing to see Australians increasingly turn to legitimately-sourced content. It is widely accessible and reasonably priced, which supports the continued growth and success of our creative industries,” Minister Fletcher said.

The survey is available at: www.communications.gov.au/2019-online-copyright-infringement-survey

Media contacts:

Brad Hatch | 0448 162 679 | Brad.Hatch@communications.gov.au
Rebecca Papillo | 0439 892 771 | Rebecca.Papillo@communications.gov.au