Report: U.S. Leads in Global Piracy Website Visits

Despite being home to the Motion Picture Association of America, Netflix, Hulu and other budget over-the-top video services, the United States leads the world in global visits to websites pirating illegal access to TV shows, movies, music and publishing, according to new data from Muso, a digital analytics firm.

There were 17.3 billion visits by U.S. residents to piracy sites in 2018, followed by Russia with 14.5 billion visits and Brazil with 10.2 billion.

Notably, the report found that nearly 50% of visits were to access TV programming, followed by movies (17%), music (16%), books (11.5%) and software (6%).

“Television is the most popular content for piracy and given the fragmentation of content across multiple streaming services,” co-founder/CEO Andy Chatterley said in a statement. “Whilst it’s important to restrict the distribution of unlicensed content, there is a wealth of insight to be garnered from piracy audience data that gives a comprehensive view of global content consumption.”

Interestingly, London-based Muso found that people engaging in pirated content are shying away from public file-sharing services, with 60% opting instead for unlicensed streaming sites.

“We have seen a 10% increase in people bypassing search engines and going directly to the piracy destination of their choice,” Chatterley said, underscoring how prevalent digital piracy remains globally.

“Simply focusing on take-downs is clearly a whack-a-mole approach and, while an essential part of any content protection strategy, it needs to be paired with more progressive thinking,” he said. “With the right mindsight, piracy audiences can offer huge value to rights holders.”

  1. United States Of America: 17.3 billion
  2. Russian Federation: 14.5 billion
  3. Brazil: 10.3 billion
  4. India: 9.6 billion
  5. France: 7.3 billion
  6. Turkey: 7.3 billion
  7. Ukraine: 6.1 billion
  8. Indonesia: 6 billion
  9. United Kingdom: 5.7 billion
  10. Germany: 5.3 billion

 

MPAA: Global Home Entertainment Market Up 16% in 2018

It’s an over-the-top video world and it’s got the revenue to prove it.

Global home entertainment consumer spending increased by 16% in 2018 to reach $55.7 billion from $48 billion in 2017, according to new data from the Motion Picture Association of America. The growth was driven by digital home entertainment, with U.S. digital spending increasing by 24% and international digital spending increasing by 34%. Since 2014, digital spending has increased 170% globally.

Much of the spending was driven by subscription streaming video services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, in addition to sales and rental of digital movies and TV shows.

Globally, the number of subscriptions to online video services reached 613 million, an up 27% from 2017. Subscriptions to online video services surpassed cable subscriptions for the first time in 2018.

The number of SVOD subscribers in the U.S. increased 17% to 186.9 million, according to the MPAA.

“More than 80% of U.S. adults watch movies and TV shows via traditional services, while more than 70% watch via online subscription services,” read the report.

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In 2018, overall spending on home entertainment in the U.S. increased to $23.3 billion, up 12% over 2017. Americans now spend 52% of their media time on a digital platform.

Indeed, global sales of DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K UHD Blu-ray content fell 14% to $7.3 billion from $8.4 billion in 2017. Domestic packaged media revenue declined 15% to $5.8 billion from $6.8 billion.

The MPAA, citing data from DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group and IHS Markit, found that when subtracting SVOD revenue from the equation, transactional revenue in the U.S. from packaged and digital media, video stores, kiosks, digital sellthrough and transactional VOD dropped 5% to $10 billion from $10.5 billion in 2017.

Citing The-Numbers.com, the MPAA report listed Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s Black Panther as the top-selling disc in 2018. (The NPD Group’s VideoScan tracking service has ranked Disney’s Avengers: Infinity War as the top-selling disc of last year.)

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was listed as the top-rental title, citing comScore.

Meanwhile, box office ticket revenue in the U.S. — driven by Black Panther and Incredibles 2 — climbed 7% to a record $11.9 billion from $11.1 billion in 2017.

“In today’s dynamic marketplace, stories come to life for audiences in theaters, at home, and on the go,” Charles Rivkin, CEO of the MPAA, said in a statement. “Our companies continue to deliver content where, when, and how audiences want it – and the numbers released today speak volumes.”

 

MPAA Boss Calls on Internet Platforms to Improve Digital Ecosystem

Taking a step away from issues involving online piracy of movies and TV shows, Charles Rivkin, CEO of the Motion Pictures Association of America, told an industry gathering that more proactive measures are needed to combat online election meddling, hate speech — and piracy.

Speaking Aug. 20 at the Tech Policy Institute’s Aspen Forum in Colorado, Rivkin said public policies that shaped the early days of the Internet are insufficient for today’s challenges and actually promote a lack of accountability by the platforms such as Amazon and Google that dominate the Web.

With the MPAA celebrating the 50thanniversary of its movie rating system, Rivkin said the milestone underscores the reality that such system is run by a private entity, not the government.

“Accountability and interdependence must be at the foundation of an Internet that continues to support free speech, expression, commerce, creativity, and innovation,” Rivkin said. “Online platforms must do more to mitigate the harms they are enabling, and we must work collaboratively to address them.”

The executive called for a “national conversation” about how Hollywood and the tech industry can return the Web to its original promise: a place for vibrant but civil discourse – “not one where false reports are retweeted thousands of times around the world before the truth has a chance to log on.”

“We live in an AI world that is still operating on an AOL policy framework,” Rivkin said. “There was a vision for the Internet, and this is not it. It’s time to realign our expectations and the incentives that will help us meet them.”

He said online platforms should voluntarily increase their efforts to curb abuse of their services. Rivkin said Congress could “recalibrate the online immunities” to mandate more proactive measures as a condition of those protections.

“I am asking for the recognition that accountability and interdependence must always be at the foundation of an Internet that supports free speech, expression, commerce, creativity and innovation,” he said. “Online platforms must do more to mitigate the harms they are enabling, and we must work collaboratively to address them.”

MPAA Report: Worldwide Consumer Theatrical and Home Entertainment Spending Reached $88.4 Billion in 2017

Consumer spending for the combined theatrical and home entertainment markets reached $88.4 billion worldwide, according to new theatrical and home entertainment data released by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

The global box office reached a new record high of $40.6 billion in 2017 – up 5% from the previous year. Home entertainment consumer spending also increased globally in 2017 to hit $47.8 billion, up 11% from 2016.

That’s according to the 2017 Theatrical and Home Entertainment Market Environment report, or THEME, which includes new information on the home entertainment market in addition to global box office figures and a moviegoer demographic survey.

“With more stories and more storytelling mediums than ever, our industry continues to adapt to an ever-changing world,” said MPAA chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin. “The global entertainment market is expanding on multiple fronts, constantly innovating to deliver an unparalleled experience to audiences worldwide. In 2017, not only did the global box office hit yet another record high, the number of subscriptions to online video services around the world jumped 33 percent to reach 446.8 million.”

“With the global box office continuing to grow and movies drawing younger, more diverse audiences, we see a bright future for theatrical entertainment,” said John Fithian, president and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO). “We are relentlessly innovating, investing in top-notch cinema infrastructure and advanced technology, to give audiences the very best movie experience.”

In 2017, global home entertainment consumer spending increased by 11% to $47.8 billion, and in the United States, the home entertainment market increased 5% from 2016 to $20.5 billion. Other findings:

  • The number of subscriptions to online video services around the world grew to 446.8 million in 2017 – a 33 percent increase compared to 2016.
  • Online video content viewing in the United States continued to increase in 2017, reaching 167.5 billion views and transactions – a 41 percent jump compared to 2016.
  • Americans now spend 49 percent of their media time on a digital platform.

 

The global box office’s record high was driven by a 7% increase in international markets ($29.5 billion), in large part due to growth in China. Japan, the United Kingdom, India, and South Korea rounded out the top five international markets after China. Cinema screens increased 8% globally in 2017, reaching just over 170,000, led by continued double digit growth in the Asia Pacific region (up 16%).

In the United States and Canada, while the domestic box office did not quite reach last year’s record of $11.4 billion, it matched 2015’s previous high of $11.1 billion. Other domestic findings include:

  • More than three-quarters of the population (263 million people) went to the cinema at least once last year.
  • The gender composition of this audience was even among men and women – 50-50.
  • More young people and diverse populations went to the movies in 2017. Audiences between the ages of 12 and 17 attended an average of 4.9 movies over the course of the year – more than any other age group, and closely followed by 18 to 24 year olds (4.7).
  • Per capita attendance was highest among Latino (4.5) and Asian (4.3) audiences.

World’s ‘Most Popular’ Movie Piracy Website Shuttering

Illegal movie streaming service 123Movies.to announced it is suspending operations.

The three-year-old platform, which also operated under the banner “GoMovies,” among other identities, made the announcement on its homepage. No reason for the shutdown was given.

“We’ve been providing links to movies and [TV] shows for years. Now it’s time to say goodbye. Thank you for being our friends and thanks for staying with us that long.”

The Vietnam-based service – dubbed by the Motion Picture Association of America as the “world’s most popular illegal site” – claimed 98 million visitors monthly.

Rival Pirate Bay claims monthly visitors of more than 280 million.

Regardless, the announcement followed a recent visit by Jan Van Voorn, chief of global content protection with the MPAA, to the communist country where he reportedly worked with the Office of the Police Investigation Agency to fight piracy.

Apparently 123Movies felt the heat. It urged visitors going forward to pay for movies and TV shows.

“That’s what we should do to show our respect to people behind the movies/shows,” read the message.

MPAA Boss Lauds Euro Cooperation, Anti-Piracy Efforts

Motion Picture Association of America CEO Charles Rivkin praised ongoing European efforts to thwart digital piracy of movies and TV shows.

Speaking Feb. 15 at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival, Rivkin praised a gathering of the German Producers Alliance for their leadership on industry issues, including the Digital Single Market in Europe, and emphasized the importance of cross-border collaboration to Europe’s local film and television industry.

“The ability to work together is one of the great strengths of our sector,” Rivkin said. “And it is that shared purpose that helps the MPAA and the Producers Alliance collaborate on the most pressing issues facing our industry today.”

Specifically, as the European Commission explored the Digital Single Market – enabling individuals and businesses borderless access to content rights with consumer and data protections, European producers, creators, and artists worked together to draft a plan.

“[Working] together, the sector continues to remind policymakers that weakening copyright and contractual freedom will have a devastating effect on our industry,” Rivkin said.

His speech was part of a three-day German tour that included a visit to Studio Babelsberg, Germany’s oldest production studio, and the German Home Entertainment Trade Body.

Rivkin highlighted successful film and television production partnerships between U.S. and European partners and their economic impact. Across Europe, more than 11 million people work in jobs supported directly and indirectly by copyright-intensive industries, including film and television.

The executive also discussed the importance of cooperation among international content creators and owners in global content protection efforts to reduce piracy.

“I am proud that in June 2017, the MPAA helped bring together 30 leading content creators, including Germany’s Constantin Film and Studio Babelsberg, to form the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment,” Rivkin said. “[This alliance] has already seen important victories against illicit streaming devices, like Tickbox in the United States, and the elimination of apps that enable access to pirated content here in Europe and in other parts of the world.”

Separately, Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, distributed by Fox Searchlight, became the first ever animation movie to open the Berlin Film Festival.

 

 

Digital Content Driving Job Growth, MPAA Says

The entertainment industry’s digital transformation is leading to a spike in employment, the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA) said in a Jan. 16 news release.

“The rapid growth of creative content development and the industry’s digital transformation has bolstered the economic contributions,” according to the MPAA. “An estimated 454 original series aired in 2016, helping drive job creation and supporting local vendors.”

The U.S. film and television industry “continues to be a key driver of the U.S. economy, adding high quality domestic jobs and paying out $49 billion to local businesses across the country,” the MPAA said.

The American film and TV industry supported2.1 million jobs in 2016, up from 2 million the year before, the MPAA said in a report based on an analysis of 2016 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which became available in November 2017.

Total wages paid out by the industry rose by $4 billion to $139 billion. Jobs directly related to the production and distribution of films and television shows grew by 24,000 over the prior year – nearly reaching 700,000 jobs. Direct industry jobs generated $53 billion in wages, at an average salary 42% higher than the national average. There were nearly 342,000 jobs in the core business of producing, marketing, manufacturing, and distributing motion pictures and television shows. “These are high quality jobs, with an average salary of $90,000, 68% higher than the average salary nationwide,” the MPAA said.

Charles Rivkin, chairman and CEO of the MPAA, said in the release, “This industry is one of the nation’s most powerful cultural and economic resources, supporting 2.1 million hard-working Americans in all 50 states and hundreds of thousands of local – mostly small – businesses.”

In 2016, the number of businesses that make up the film and television industry rose by 5,000 to 93,000 – 87% of which are small businesses that employ fewer than 10 people. In all, film and television supports 400,000 local businesses.

“The U.S. film and television industry is also a key player in markets around the world, with demand for creative content continuing to grow,” the MPAA says. “The industry registers a positive balance of trade in nearly every country with $16.5 billion in exports worldwide.”