NBC Universal-commissioned report reveals surging levels of online piracy, with 432m users seeking pirate content in a single month.
Global internet piracy is growing rapidly, according to a new report commissioned by NBC Universal.
In the three key regions of North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, which comprise 82.6% of all internet users and 95.1% of all bandwidth consumed, the report claims that infringing bandwidth use increased by 159.3% between 2010 and 2012, from 3,690 petabytes to 9,567 petabytes. This figure represents 23.8% of the total bandwidth used by all internet users.
A total of 13.9 billion page views were recorded on web sites focused on piracy in January 2013. This figure increased by 9.8% in the 15 months from November 2011.
Worldwide, 432m internet users explicitly sought infringing content during January 2013.
- Piracy bandwidth use: 23.8% (+159.3%)
- Pirate users: 432m (Jan 2013)
- Pirate webpage views: 13.9bn (Jan 2013) +9.8%
The 100-page report was prepared by the Piracy Analysis team at NetNames, formerly known as Envisional. In January 2011, Envisional published the report An Estimate of Infringing Use of the Internet.
Data was collected from sources including comScore, Sandvine, Cisco and NetNames.
According to the report, Bittorrent is the most popular peer-to-peer file distribution system worldwide and the protocol is one of the highest consumers of internet bandwidth. In North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, the amount of bandwidth consumed by the infringing use of bittorrent comprised 6,692 petabytes of data in 2012 - an increase of 244.9% from 2010.
In the same three regions, infringing use of bittorrent in January 2013 accounted for 178.7 million unique internet users, an increase of 23.6% from November 2011, and 7.4 billion page views, an increase of 30.6% from November 2011.
Infringement through video streaming generally combines video streaming link sites with video hosting sites that are often called video streaming cyberlockers. In the three key regions, the absolute amount of bandwidth consumed by the infringing use of video streaming comprised 1,527 petabytes of data in 2012, an increase of 471.9% from 2010.
In the same three regions, infringing use of video streaming in January 2013 accounted for 96.3 million unique internet users, an increase of 27.7% from November 2011, and 4.2 billion page views, an increase of 34.3% from November 2011
Predictably, the report found that efforts to restrict infringement through legal action or other methods have been only intermittently successful.
Information on unique and unduplicated visitors and page views for sites that fall into each infringement ecosystem was gathered from comScore. comScore figures on unduplicated visitors are one of the main sources of information which underpins this report. Data on bandwidth use was provided by Sandvine, a network management solutions company with devices placed in many countries worldwide. Statistics from Cisco provided information on the growth of data consumption online. NetNames has monitored digital piracy for 14 years.