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Aussie Internet Users Pirate less, Stream more

Friday, 25 Nov 2016


The rational conclusion to seven years of court cases, lobbying and new laws.

Australia’s internet users are pirating less and streaming more from legitimate sources, according to government-commissioned research, confirming exactly what users have been saying all along.

The Department of Communications quietly posted the results of its second consumer survey of online copyright infringement on a Saturday morning.

The survey found consumers are switching off from “unlawful content” with about the same number moving to “consume paid content”.

The company behind the survey, TNS Australia, said its “estimates” were that 23 percent of Australian internet users over 12 had consumed “at least one item of online content unlawfully” in the first few months of 2016.

This was down from 26 percent in 2015, and TNS Australia called that a “significant decline”.

The percentage of movies that Aussie internet users watched this year compared to last showed a big swing towards legitimate content, with similar swings for music and TV programs.

Netflix availability was one of the big reasons for many people to make the switch for movies and TV, coupled with some usage of local on-demand services.

Spotify – and to a lesser extent, Pandora – encouraged more music listeners to gravitate to legitimate content, the report found.

Internet users cited the falling cost of “lawful content” as one reason to stop pirating, as well as content being made available in all markets simultaneously, or being made available full-stop.

Only six percent of people that still turn to pirate content said that “nothing would make them stop”, suggesting that continued refinements to the business model for content could further relegate the anti-piracy debate in Australia.

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