Friday, 10 August 2018 10:12

Piracy levels fell in 2018, comms dept survey finds


Australians are generally downloading less copyrighted material in 2018, compared to the previous year, but streaming has gone up, according to a survey for the Department of Communications and the Arts carried out by Indigenous professional Services.

The frequency of music downloading increased by 1% but other categories all fell - video games by 6%, films by 5% and TV programs by 2%. As far as streaming content goes, music went up by 5%, video games fell by 1%, and films and TV programs increased by 9% each.

"The sharing of digital content on a weekly basis was found to have changed only slightly when compared to 2017 with a 1% increase in movies from 45% to 46% and the other three content types experiencing a decline," the survey said.

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"The sharing of music dropped 5% in 2018 down to 57%, video games dropped 6% down to 57% and the sharing of TV programs dropped 5% down to 47%. The decline was also reflected in the median number of files shared with music experiencing a drop from 10 in 2017 down to 5 in 2018. Video games dropped from 3 to 2, movies and TV programs both stayed level at 2."

A total of 2453 people above 12 participated in the survey, either online or through a computer-assisted telephone interview, in March.

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Quotas were set for gender, age and geography but the proportion of digital video game consumers was just 20% of the survey sample.

The survey aimed to understand the prevalence of online copyright infringement in Australia across four content types: music, video games, movies and TV programs. It also attempted to understand what attitudes drive online copyright infringement behaviours.

Additionally, the survey tried to determine the role pricing plays in lawful and unlawful access of online content. Finally, it attempted to understand how online user behaviour and attitude has changed since the survey first began in 2015 and the emerging trends over the past four years.

The survey found that digital consumption through download, streaming or sharing across music, video games, films, TV programs, e-books and PC software had gone up from 65% in 2015 to 66% in 2016 and 69& in 2017. In the last 12 months, consumption rose to 78% in 2018.

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While the consumption of digital music, video games and e-books in 2018 remained steady compared to 2017, TV program consumption rose from 45% in 2017 to 50% in 2018; digital movie consumption increased from 39% to 47% in 2018; and consumption of digital PC software went up from 23% in 2017 to 32% in 2018.

Most survey participants (72%) in 2018 used a fixed line Internet connection to consume digital content, down from 82% the previous year. Those using mobile connections remained constant over the two years, at 40%.

There was a small drop in those using public Wi-Fi (13% in 2017 and 12% in 2018). The 2018 survey asked participants about use of fixed wireless and satellite for the first time, and 18% said they used fixed wireless to consume digital content while 2% used a satellite connection.

Graphics: courtesy Department of COmmunications and the Arts

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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