Entertainment Sees Piracy Rise

There are more opportunities for entertainment choices than ever before with the growth of a variety of online platforms, whether this be for music with the like of Spotify and YouTubes premium service, in gaming with the growth of new online casino options and other subscription based gaming services, and video and TV streaming too with the likes of Netflix and Disney+ but despite the variety of services available there has been a steady increase in online piracy – but what has been the reason for the change in entertainment usage, and why is piracy on the rise?

Some of the reason has been attributed to a poor delivery of services – the question has often been a question of service rather than a question of price and this has been seen with successful launches, Disney+ for example was able to gain over 100 million subscribers just sixteen months after its launch and has managed to continue its growth with some fantastic unique shows that expand on its own intellectual universe such as the continuation with Star Wars through The Mandalorian for example. Other platforms like Netflix haven’t been able to do so well, cancellations of some of its biggest shows as well as the slow development of its own catalogue leading to a stale library has some users questioning whether or not they’ll keep a subscription, and price hikes have deterred many from doing so. 

(Image from forbes.com)

Music piracy is still the biggest, however, and there are a lot of questions why – the streaming platforms have done a fantastic job at seeing levels drop but the past few years have seen it creep up again – some of this is due to certain music simply not being available on the big platforms, but also those who may be listening on existing options but choosing to use ‘stream-ripping’ sites to download content that isn’t otherwise available particularly from the likes of YouTube, and despite efforts to cut down on these sites they’re still accounting for a large part of this change.

As it often is a question of service rather than price, changes here can help but the bad press particularly recently as changes to pricing structures based on multiple users or charging for exclusive content only for it to be released for free later on is becoming questionable, and streaming platforms are ultimately hurting their own success and in turn driving piracy forward in many different markets – the digital entertainment space is at something of a tipping point, and changes can either solve this growing problem for good, or cause users to double down and commit to online alternatives.

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