Home Audio/Video Nearly a Quarter of U.S. Households Think Movies and Music Should be...

Nearly a Quarter of U.S. Households Think Movies and Music Should be Free

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Is piracy acceptable? A surprising number of Americans say yes.

That’s according to a survey released this week by Parks Associates, which found that nearly a quarter of Internet households in the U.S. “agree that pirating content is acceptable.” That figure of 23 percent is up from 14 percent in 2019.

In response to five statements, more people answered yes in 2022 than 2019 to all five. The statements are “Because movies/music should be available to everyone from free,” “because the movie/music companies still make lots of money,” “as long as somebody else is paying for the service,” “if you never would have otherwise watched/listened to them,” and “because no one ever gets in trouble for it.”

It’s worth noting, however, that fewer than 25 percent of the respondents answered yes to those questions.

“Almost half of pirates believe stealing content is acceptable because there are no consequences to the behavior,” Jennifer Kent, VP, Research, Parks Associates, said in the release.

Parks is set to discuss the results during “Digital Piracy and Distribution,” a virtual event set to take place on Thursday, September 22, at noon Eastern time, as part of the firm’s Future of Video: OTT, Pay TV, and Digital Media.

“The session provides insights on piracy behavior and triggers and strategies to balance piracy prevention with subscriber retention and churn motivators. We are excited to bring the industry together to share insights on this important topic,” Kent said.

“We’ve found that consumers pirate NOT because they want to but because they’re often forced to by an increasingly complex and fragmented streaming landscape that was built for companies, not users,” said Tim Cutting, GM of Reelgood and a participant in the panel, said.

“We’re talking to the largest streamers and studios in the world, and they are all expressing a similar feeling – piracy is a today problem to solve,” Matthew Fite, CTO, Verimatrix, added in Parks’ release. “I think that as an industry we have the opportunity and the responsibility right now to work together to find creative solutions to shut down piracy.”

A report by Muso, as published by Business Insider, found earlier this year that “visits to movie-piracy sites increased 42.5 percent in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021,” which in part was due to so few movies being released in early 2021.