Peer-to-peer (P2P) networks continue to be the No. 1 source of pirating copies of movies and TV shows, according to new research from Irdeto, and the growth in streaming video piracy seems to only be adding to the P2P piracy problem, instead of replacing it.
Irdeto found that five out of 10 monthly visits to sites dealing in piracy by “casual” pirates in 2017 were to web video sites, while also in 2017, eight out of 10 monthly visits to pirate sites by “committed pirates” (those who do not visit legitimate streaming sites) were to P2P sites.
The research also found that visits to P2P sites accounted for 70% of global activity for both streaming video and P2P platforms, leading to an average of 800 million global monthly downloads from P2P sites in 2017.
“While many expect P2P piracy to be taken over by streaming and direct downloads, it’s clear that this has not happened yet. P2P piracy is still a big threat to the industry, in which the overall piracy problem is growing,” said Peter Cossack, VP of cybersecurity services for Irdeto. “While the increase in bandwidth and social media has facilitated growth in content redistribution piracy, particularly around live sporting events, it is clear that other forms of piracy are not going away any time soon. This must be considered by content owners and rights holders in their security strategies.”
In countries where piracy is highest — Russia, India, Brazil, the Netherlands and the U.S. — P2P activity is either staying constant or growing, with web video sites getting a significant portion (28%) of their high-quality video content from P2P sites, the report found.