Quarter of Malaysian consumers use pirated TV boxes | Security | News | Rapid TV News
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More evidence of the threat of piracy in the Asian region has emerged showing that 25% of Malaysian consumers viewing online content use an illicit streaming device (ISD) which can be used to stream pirated television and video content.

avia 6Aug2018The survey, commissioned by the Asia Video Industry Association’s (AVIA) Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), and conducted by YouGov, also revealed that of the 33% of consumers who purchased an illicit streaming device for free streaming, three-fifths had cancelled all or some of their subscription to legal pay-TV services. Specifically, 35% admitted that they cancelled their subscriptions to a Malaysian-based online video service as a direct consequence of owning an ISD. International subscription services, which include pan-Asia online offerings, were also impacted – nearly one in five (19%) Malaysian users abandoned subscriptions in favour of ISD purchases.

Of those consumers who own an ISD, half claim to have purchased their ISD from one of the largest Southeast Asia-based ecommerce stores. Also close to two-fifths of ISD owners say they acquired their devices via a leading social media platform.

AVIA noted that the surge in popularity of ISDs is not unique to Malaysia. Similar YouGov consumer research undertaken in other South East Asian countries also found high levels of ISD usage. Indeed, 15% of Singapore consumers, 20% of Hong Kong consumers, 28% of Filipino consumers and 34% consumers of Taiwanese consumers use a TV box which can be used to stream pirated television and video content. Furthermore, a similar survey taken in Thailand in November 2018 found that 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.

The illicit streaming device ecosystemecosystem is impacting all businesses involved in the production and distribution of legitimate content,” remarked AVIA CEO Louis Boswell. “ISD piracy is also organised crime, pure and simple, with crime syndicates making substantial illicit revenues from the provision of illegally re-transmitted TV channels and the sale of such ISDs”.

Cancelling legitimate subscription services and paying less for access to pirated content is fraught with risks, added Neil Gane, general manager of AVIA’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP). “Piracy websites and ISDs typically have a click-happy user base, and 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. The type of malware embedded within the piracy ecosystem can include particularly harmful malware such as remote access trojans which allows the hacker to activate and record from the device’s webcam without the victim being aware.”