The Swedish film and TV industries lose close to $100m annually from illegal streaming and file sharing, according to report.

Illegal streaming and file sharing of films and TV programmes continues to be a major problem for the Swedish film and television industries, concludes a report from Sweden’s Film and TV Industry Cooperation Committee.

“It is a common misconception that piracy is less of a problem today - on the contrary, it is bigger than ever. As much as 280 million film and television programmes annually are watched in Sweden illegally,” explained Per Strömbäck, the committee’s expert on digital trade.

Interviewing 1,003 Swedes aged 16-79, the Novus analysis institute concluded that 71% of the population use legal film and TV services – an average of every third film or television programme they connect to is Swedish.

However, 29% of those interviews – and 60% of these are under 30 – connect to illegal channels, watching every third film or TV programme (an average four films and seven TV programmes) illegally, every tenth of the production being Swedish.

If the productions had been regularly purchased through legal film and TV services by the viewers, it would increase the film and TV industries’ revenue by an estimated $99 million, or a quarter of the current income from the end-consumers.

“The situation is not sustainable. For the industries to be able to produce, distribute and show films and TV programming, audiences want to see and pay for, it requires a digital market that works, and measures to stop the illegal competition,” Strömbäck concluded.

In 2013, the general turnover of Swedish feature film production companies was reduced by 24% in 12 months, mainly as a result of failing DVD sales; he pointed out it the consequence was not only a business, but also a cultural question – less new films.