Berlin, January 25, 2023 - The study on TV piracy shows: Illegal TV consumption still causes high economic and social losses. 5.9 million people in Germany watched illegal live TV signals in 2022. TV piracy causes annual economic losses of €1.8 billion, while foregone taxes and social security contributions total €390 million. EU regulators and the German government must introduce effective measures to stop the illegal use of live TV.
Watching illegal live content on TV was still widespread in 2022 and has actually increased noticeably in recent years. Since the economic losses are at the expense of commercial media organizations, the effect of this is to weaken media and opinion diversity in Germany. This is the conclusion of a study commissioned by the VAUNET German Media Association and carried out by the consulting and research group Goldmedia.
In Germany, a total of 5.9 million people regularly watched illegal live TV streams in 2022. Moreover, live TV piracy largely replaces the use of legal TV services. The main live TV genres watched illegally are drama, sports, documentaries and information. As a result, the media corporations concerned lose annual revenue totaling €1.1 billion. What’s more, the overall loss of revenue when upstream and downstream stages of the value chain are taken into account amounts to as much as €1.8 billion annually. And this in turn means the state forgoes taxes and social security contributions totaling around €390 million every year.
Live content needs live protection on the internet
Frank Giersberg, Managing Director of VAUNET
The study was compiled by passively measuring the online activities of over 2,700 viewers combined with a representative online survey of more than 550 users of illegal linear TV streams. The online survey took place from 12 to 18 July 2022. The study and the analysis focused on linear free and pay TV streams that are distributed illegally. Note that additional use and losses caused by illegal downloads or illegal video-on-demand weren’t covered. Compared to the study carried out in 2018, the data quality of the measuring panel has been improved, enabling the use of illegal live streams to be gauged even more precisely and extensively. To ensure direct comparability of measured consumption and the results, the methodology used in 2022 was applied retrospectively to the static measurement data from 2018. In addition, it should be borne in mind that due to some participants’ reluctance to provide socially undesirable responses, the actual use of illegal linear TV streams may be even higher than indicated by the survey findings.