No laughing matter: Synamedia finds comedy is the most pirated genre

February 3, 2023

Leading video software provider Synamedia today unveiled research analysing the impact of sports and entertainment piracy across seven countries and the potential revenues that would result from converting pirate viewers to legal subscribers. The study, conducted by Ampere Analysis, finds the value of entertainment piracy is three times bigger than sports piracy and that the fragmentation of rights across more services is now affecting piracy in the entertainment market as it has for sports.

The research reveals that comedy is the most pirated genre of entertainment, driven by titles including Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Ted Lasso, with half of all pirate viewers streaming comedy illegally. This is followed by the action and adventure genre, and the crime and thriller category respectively.

The data shows that stopping piracy of a single Hollywood major movie release can trigger revenues of between $130m and $280m in the US alone, with super-hero blockbusters offering the biggest opportunities. For a popular title like ‘Spider Man: No Way Home’, stopping piracy would lead to potential revenue for a studio streaming service of over $400m, based on the true annual lifetime value of streaming subscribers.

Of the seven countries surveyed, Synamedia’s report finds that the market with the most to gain is the US, with the potential of $13.7bn annually by stopping movie and TV piracy and an additional $5bn related to sports. This would generate $5.9bn in annual income for US streaming providers, with the 28 most heavily pirated movies and TV titles alone contributing up to $1.8bn in new revenues.

Understanding pirate viewers

Pirate viewers using both free and paid for services are more likely to be male with paying pirates more likely to be to be men under 35 with young children. The research finds that 44% of affluent consumers pay to pirate live sports, despite most pirates falling into lower income groups, indicating a desire to cut costs and watch all the leagues in one place.

Avigail Gutman, Vice President of Intelligence and Security Operations at Synamedia, commented, “Unless the industry takes action, the fragmentation of premium content compounded by the current economic climate will continue to drive viewers to both paid and free piracy services. This represents a real risk to rights holders, broadcasters and streaming providers. As well as using tools and techniques to protect content and services, operators can counter the rise in piracy by ensuring content is easy to find and meeting consumers’ demands for mobile-first services, as well as more aggregated services and billing.”

Synamedia and Ampere Research will host a fireside chat ‘No laughing matter: pirates enjoy comedy’ to discuss the findings in more depth on February 23rd at  11 am ET. To register, click here.

Read Synamedia’s full press release for more details on methodology and findings.

About Synamedia

We’re trusted by service providers and content owners to protect, enrich, and deliver video. The flexibility and agility of our cloud products enable customers of all types and sizes to launch, monetise, and scale services at speed. Our award-winning portfolio includes intelligence-led anti-piracy, advanced advertising, business analytics, broadband and streaming video platforms, and video network cloud and software solutions. Synamedia is backed by the Permira funds and Sky.

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