Nearly half of Thai consumers use pirated TV boxes | Security | News | Rapid TV News
By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our privacy policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them. [Close]
Rather alarming research from the Coalition Against Piracy of the Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) has found that Thailand’s subscription video industry faces new threat as consumers’ viewing habits shift to pirated TV boxes.

avia 6Aug2018The research, conducted by YouGov, found that as many as 45% of consumers in the country use a TV box which can be used to stream pirated television and video content. Such illicit streaming devices (ISDs) were found to often come pre-loaded with pirated applications allowing ‘plug-and-play’ access to pirated content. Mango TV, HD Playbox and U Play were highlighted as among the most popular pirate applications amongst Thai consumers.

Of the 45% of consumers who purchased a TV box or dongle for free streaming, more than two-thirds (69%) stated that they cancelled all or some of their subscription to legal pay-TV services. Specifically, almost a quarter asserted that they cancelled their subscriptions to a Thai-based online video service as a direct consequence of owning an ISD. International subscription services, which include pan-Asia online offerings, were impacted the most – nearly a third (30%) of Thai users have abandoned subscriptions in favour of ISD purchases.

Of those consumers who own an ISD, about half of respondents (47%) claim to have purchased their ISD from two of the largest Southeast Asia-based ecommerce stores. Close to one-third (31%) of ISD owners say they acquired their devices via one of the world’s most popular social media platforms.

In addition to the short-term problem of cancelled subscriptions is what CAP says is a longer-term problem – namely, many of the people using ISDs are young. The survey found that ISDs are particularly favoured among 18-24 year-olds, with more than three in four (77%) cancelling legitimate subscription services as a result of owning ISDs, especially international online subscriptions (40%).

Cancelling legitimate subscription services and paying less for access to pirated content is fraught with risks, said Neil Gane, the general manager of AVIA’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP).

“The damage that piracy does to the creative industries is without dispute. However, the damage done to consumers themselves, because of the nexus between content piracy and malware, is only beginning to be recognised,” he said. “Piracy websites and applications typically have a ‘click-happy’ user base, and, as such, are being used more and more as clickbait to distribute malware. Unfortunately, the appetite for ‘free’ or cheap subscription pirated content blinkers users from the very real risks of malware infection.”