Seven-tenths of Russians watch pirated content

DetailsEditor | 28 January 2015

Lack of availability and expensive content are being blamed as the key drivers of a wave of piracy in Russia according to a survey from security expert Irdeto.

The security technology leader's survey found that as many as 70% of consumers in Russia (70%) watch pirated video content, with 16% watching it more than once a week, revealing that pirated content is much more pervasive than in the US, UK, Australia, Singapore and India, based on previous Irdeto global research.

In addition, the data showed that in terms of video content, ad-funded services were most popular among respondents who ever watch entertainment content with 43% saying they watch video content through these services most frequently. However, almost a quarter of respondents (23%) primarily use pirate services to watch content. This said, Irdeto found that pirate services are more popular than both subscription services (20%) and pay-per-view (4%) in Russia.

Assessing the drivers, Irdeto added that the main reason respondents would watch pirated content is that legal content is too expensive, with 39% identifying this as the main reason they would watch pirated content. This was followed by not wanting to wait for official releases (33%) and content not being available locally (24%).

"The prevalence of piracy in the Russian market is clearly identified by this research, with high content costs, longer windows and lack of availability fuelling the situation," said Andrey Silanchev, business development director Russia and CIS, Irdeto. "While this is partly due to the economic situation, it's clear that operators must make multiscreen and OTT content in this market either ad-funded or very affordable through low subscription fees. Ancillary devices outside the living room are clearly very prevalent in Russia and if pay-TV operators are not fulfilling demand, this is another opportunity for pirated content services."