The amount of money musicians and actors earn is beyond belief while the movie companies themselves can spend and earn millions themselves. Yet, the brands and management firms that manage royalties and overall income are still furious about the amount of money they lose out to because of illegal stream and torrents.
Piracy stats claim that 126.7 billion viewings are taken per year by sites that allow people to stream or download movies as well as illegal torrent sharing sites. This allegedly causes a total of 70,000 job losses which is debatable. Yet, there is one frightening statistic that has been thrown out there that we may all frown upon, and that is 24% of global internet bandwidth is taken up by these sites!
When internet speeds hurt us, then we might stand up and take note because let’s face it, none of us feels sorry for Tom Cruise when he lashes out saying that people who download films from the internet are thieves. His life must be incredibly hard because of this while those that are downloading pirate material wish they could be him or better still afford the movie they are illegally streaming.
That said, we still cannot condone any act that amounts to theft. It is just surprising how strongly these multi-millionaires feel about it.
One more interesting stat and the one that hits home the most is this. Each year the movie industry predicts that it loses anything up to $90 billion a year.
Now when you get down to brass tacks that is one princely sum of money being pirated across the world. On the other hand, people with no money are having the pleasure of entertainment and have saved themselves $90 billion a year. Looking at it another way, those that can afford to watch the movies but are still pirating them are the issue here.
Now here’s where things start to get a little whacky! Now although people are living under the breadline in the US, the theory that only those without money are watching movie streams may not be so true because the overwhelming majority of movies watched via illegal stream websites are people from developed nations with only a couple of developing nations in the top 9 world offenders.
US Citizens Are Responsible for 17 Billion Illegal Movie Streams
Right now, the leading country where its citizens use pirate sites is the United States. With its huge 250+ million population that makes sense. Roughly 17 billion views to pirate sites every year come from the USA. If every Us citizen was using an illegal movie streaming site, that would mean every person watches at least 4 illegal movies per year – including Tom Cruise!
That is not the case because there are people that watch 10 per year, 100 per year, and those that watch a movie almost every day of the year for want of nothing better to do.
What about the rest of the world’s yearly stats?
· Russia – 14.5 billion
· India – 9.5 billion
· France – 7.3 billion
· Turkey – 7.3 billion
· Ukraine – 6.1 billion
· Indonesia – 6 billion
· United Kingdom – 5.75 billion
· Germany – 5.3 billion
One reason these stats may be quite distorted is that there are quite a few people that will only watch movie streaming sites via a VPN. Usually, these people will connect to a country abroad to do this. For example, a UK citizen will know that VPN servers within the UK still fall under government acts in the country that allows cybersecurity teams to look at these servers.
Therefore, the safer bet is to use a VPN and stream from somewhere like South Africa, Brazil, or Mexico. Even better still Southeast Asian countries where the internet connections are also fast there too. Once connected, the country attributed to the illegal pirate stream view is the one the user is connected to via the VPN software.
What about Music?
Stats for pirate music websites are slowly being reduced as online music streaming websites are free while the paid subscriptions are usually incredibly cheap. That said 73.9 billion visits a year is still not a small number and enough to keep those in the music kicking up a fuss about the amount of money they are losing due to pirate sites.
Are These Stats Cause for Concern?
Whether we as private purchasers of music and film should be worried about this topic is a good question to ask. The movie industry appears to be in good shape as does the music industry. Maybe that’s because it is unclear where the job losses are coming from or how these pirate views and downloads affect people other than the actors or musicians.
Quite honestly, no one cares about the actors and musicians losing money because they have a gift from God, they are a group of a lucky few out of billions of people living more comfortable lives than ‘billion’ of people. However, if governments, movie, and music companies could show us everyday people these pirate views are affecting, then maybe more people would boycott pirate sites.
A good start would be something like, the tax revenue could have been put towards an additional job for a government nurse that saves lives or put towards opening a centre for the homeless. Be convincing instead of whining!