German illegal TV consumption causes €1.8BN loss | Security | News | Rapid TV News
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A study from the VAUNET German Media Association has highlighted the worrying conclusion that despite the best efforts of the media industry, watching illegal live content on TV in the country was still widespread in 2022 and has actually increased noticeably in recent years.
TV Piracy study 27Jan2023
The Television Piracy Study 2022/2023 was carried out by the consulting and research group Goldmedia measuring the online activities of over 2,700 viewers combined with a representative online survey of more than 550 users of illegal linear TV streams from 12 to 18 July 2022.

It found that overall in Germany, a total of 5.9 million people regularly watched illegal live TV streams in 2022. Worse, live TV piracy was largely replacing the use of legal TV services. The main live TV genres watched illegally were drama, sports, documentaries and information.

As a result, calculated the study, local media corporations were losing annual revenues totalling €1.1 billion and when upstream and downstream stages of the value chain were taken into account, the loss amounted to as much as €1.8 billion annually. This meant the German state was forgoing taxes and social security contributions totalling around €390 million every year.

According to the study findings, the frequency of illegal use has also increased since 2018. In 2022, 72% of those streaming live TV illegally did so at least once a week, up from 54% in 2018. The largest group is men aged between 24 and 33.

However, pronounced use of illegal live TV streams was observed among the entire population between 24 and 63, the share of older users rising especially strongly in comparison to 2018. On average, those watching illegal linear TV streams in 2022 did so for an average of about 73 minutes per day.

The devices most commonly used were smartphones, PCs and laptops, along with apps and software installed on streaming sticks and boxes. Compared with 2018, access to illegal live content using apps and software has increased rapidly. Over half of those watching illegal streams in 2022 did so in one of these ways, compared with 36% in 2018.

“The results of the study clearly show that the illegal consumption of live TV signals remains a mass phenomenon with serious economic and social consequences,” said VAUNET managing director Frank Giersberg. “Once again, we therefore appeal to the government and regulators: Live content needs live protection on the internet. We see no clear sign of support from Brussels or the German government, and demand changes be made promptly.”