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Huge decrease in levels of streaming piracy seen in Malaysia over last 12 months

MDTCA’s site-blocking efforts contribute towards consumers migrating to legal services.

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KUALA LUMPUR: A new study of the online content viewing behaviour of Malaysian consumers, has found a massive 64 per cent decrease in consumers accessing piracy websites over the past 12 months. The survey commissioned by the Asia Video Industry Association’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) and conducted by YouGov, found that 22 per cent of online consumers currently use piracy streaming websites or torrent sites to view pirated content, substantially less than the 61per cent from a similar survey conducted in August 2019. The YouGov survey also found a 61 per cent reduction in the number of consumers who use an illicit streaming device (ISD) when compared to the August 2019 survey. 

More than half (55 per cent) of online consumers had noticed that a piracy service had been blocked by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (MDTCA). This would appear to have had an impact on consumer attitudes towards piracy, with 49 per cent stating that they no longer accessed piracy services and 40 per cent stating that they now rarely accessed piracy services as a result of not being able to access blocked piracy sites. 11 per cent of consumers said it made no difference to their viewing habits. 

TVB International general manager Desmond Chan said: “We are encouraged by the efforts of MDTCA in fighting online piracy with their site-blocking campaign. Malaysia is an important market to our content distribution business. TVB’s programmes are popular in Malaysia and have always been the targets for piracy. The swift anti-piracy measures provided by MDTCA will foster a business environment in which we will continue investing.” 

LaLiga global audiovisual director Melcior Soler said: "This substantial reduction in online piracy in Malaysia is a sign of the success of the actions undertaken by the MDTCA. Piracy only benefits the criminal organisations who operate the websites and illicit applications and harms society as a whole, especially those who work every day to generate content and entertainment for everyone. LaLiga will continue to fight against the problem of online piracy.” 

The continual site blocking has had an impact on consumers viewing habits who are now more likely to access legal content services. 20 per cent of consumers who said they were aware of the government blocking piracy websites and illicit application domains, have since subscribed to a paid streaming service; 15 per cent said they now spend more time viewing free (AVOD) local streaming services; and 65 per cent now predominantly watch free (AVOD) international streaming services. 

AVIA’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) general manager Neil Gane said: “We applaud the MDTCA for disrupting piracy website networks which are being monetised by crime syndicates. Consumers who subscribe to illicit IPTV services or access piracy streaming sites are wasting their time and money when the channels and websites stop working. Piracy services do not come with a ‘service guarantee’, no matter what their ‘sales pitch’ may claim.” 

When asked about the negative consequences of online piracy, consumers placed funding crime groups (57%) , loss of jobs in the creative industry (52%) and malware risks (42%) as their top three concerns. 

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