Online content piracy in Indonesia is largely funded by 'high risk' services including gambling and pornography, research from Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand has found.
The research, released at CASBAA's Indonesia in View 2015 conference, found that 84% of advertisements on pirate websites in the Southeast Asian island nation were for 'high-risk' services, such as gambling, sexual services, financial scams and malware.
"The research results were surprising," said CASBAA's chief policy officer John Medeiros. "Indonesia is a socially conservative country, and we did not expect to find such a preponderance of socially unacceptable services funding content piracy to use as a lure to attract Indonesian viewers." Researchers found the largest share of the ads was from gambling websites, many based offshore, clearly targeting Indonesia as a vulnerable market.
Joe Welch, who is also senior vice president of government relations for 21st Century Fox, noted that in addition to gambling and other 'high-risk' ads, several mainstream advertisers in Indonesia are helping finance piracy by placing ads on pirate websites. "The brand advertisers may also be victims in this process," he said. "They may not want their brands associated with illegal activities, but they may be unaware of how the online advertising industry is placing their ads."
Government, advertisers, consumer groups and the technology sector should look at overseas examples and strongly consider adopting global best practices, said Welch.
Neil Gane, a fellow panellist and executive director of the Asia-Pacific Internet Centre, Motion Picture Association, agreed. "If mainstream advertisers stay away from piracy sites, their profits dry up and their ability to conduct day-to-day operations is greatly undermined," he said. "As such, targeting the advertising dollar is key to stopping online content theft. High-risk advertising puts money directly in the pockets of online pirates and erodes away the safety afforded to children who may stumble across these websites."
The conference panellists agreed one of the greatest threats to development of Indonesia's television industry was the rapid growth of online piracy, alongside the more 'traditional' cable piracy.
Agus Mulyanto, chairman of the Indonesian Association of Multimedia Providers (APMI), said there are more than 2,000 illegal cable operators in Indonesia. He urged all stakeholders, including the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Indonesia Broadcasting Commission and content providers to take firm action against them.