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Forensic watermarking ‘could halve losses from online piracy’

A new report has been released by YouGov and Edgeware

A new report from YouGov and Edgeware says viewers are 50 per cent less likely to watch pirated content if they knew it could be tracked by forensic watermarking.

The companies surveyed more than 4,000 people globally and found that 39 per cent of viewers are likely to watch pirated content on-demand by downloading or streaming illegally shared versions of content. 

At the same time, more than 21 per cent said they would watch live events – such as live sports – from unsolicited online sources.

Other key findings of the report include:

– 29 per cent of viewers watch pirated content at least once per month

– The most cited reasons for viewers watching pirated content is its ease of availability (32 per cent), followed by cost (24 per cent)

– Viewers in Hong Kong are significantly more likely to watch pirated content than those in the US or UK.

“The Illegal distribution of programming is a huge problem for content distributors and owners with piracy costing them billions in lost revenue,” said Richard Brandon from Edgeware. 

“This research has shown that digitally watermarking content as it’s streamed will have a significant benefit. Those watching pirating content could drop by half and then forensic watermarking will also make it faster and easier to identify those illegally distributing content.”

The results of the survey are included in Edgeware’s new reportTV piracy research – watermarking could save billions of dollars a year.