In the lead up to Halloween, illegal peer-to-peer downloads of current and classic horror films increased by 21 per cent worldwide according to Irdeto. The digital platform security specialist investigated piracy trends from 14 to 23 October, of some of the most popular horror film and TV shows released in the past 45 years. Irdeto found that Insidious was the most pirated scary movie with 56 per cent more downloads than the second most popular film, Poltergeist, and 72 per cent more downloads than the third most popular film, The Shining.
Irdeto tracked a sampling of the world’s most popular scary movies by genre. Ghost-themed movies accounted for 54 per cent of overall illegal downloads, zombie movies 27 per cent and slasher films 18 per cent of downloads.
Irdeto also looked at piracy levels by region and found that Brazil and France pirated the most horror content overall (both movies and TV shows), with both countries accounting for 11 per cent of illegal downloads worldwide respectively. The United States and Russia pirated the most scary movies, each tallying in at 12 per cent of illegal movies downloaded. The US is also responsible for the most ghost movie (11 per cent) and slasher movie downloads (25 per cent). It was Russia, however, that took the lead in pirating Zombie themed films, with 23 per cent of the category’s downloads.
“As scary as this sounds, piracy data can help pay TV and OTT operators understand what their customers demand and may not have legal and affordable access to,” said Rory O’Connor vice president, services, Irdeto. “By looking at spikes in piracy, you can determine the most advantageous content, timing and format for your video service offerings in specific markets. For instance, consumers in the United States gravitate to older horror flicks that generate nostalgia around Halloween. It is quite possible for older video content to rise from the dead during key points of the year.”
The Walking Dead continues to be the most pirated scary TV show that Irdeto tracks, accounting for 44 per cent of total illegal television downloads, followed by American Horror Story, Dexter, Grimm, iZombie and Hemlock Grove.
“One reason that Hemlock Grove may be less pirated than the others is due to Netflix’s binge-style release all of seasonal episodes at once,” added O’Connor. “Releasing episodes all together may help combat piracy by tapping into the consumer’s need for instant gratification. But on the flip side, this strategy also prevents content providers from capitalising on the grassroots marketing engine that comes with traditional episodic release.”