Having too many streaming service options — some with growing price tags — is reportedly driving piracy.
The Danish National Unit for Special Crime said a 29-year-old man is facing possible prison time for illegally reselling lists containing login credentials for 500,000 online services, including streaming platforms. The man also allegedly created a website where buyers could purchase the individual login information of existing users for apps like TV2 Play, Viaplay, Max, Paramount+ and Podimo. The news was reported earlier by TorrentFreak.
Jail time for pirates is also becoming more common in the U.S..
Streaming services have become as commonplace as cable in the last decade. Streaming apps were once seen as the solution to piracy and high cable prices, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, according to TorrentFreak. Due to the sheer number of services available today, it’s no longer economically feasible for many viewers to watch everything they want to. In addition, many services have raised their prices amid climbing inflation rates. The combination of factors has resulted in consumers seeking out illegal options.
Households are increasingly looking for ways to curb their spending amid current economic uncertainties and streaming services are often easy places to save a few bucks. Streaming subscriptions declined 25% from $90 in 2021 to $73 in 2023, according to data from Parks Associates. On the flip side, more households reported using free ad-supported services by the end of 2022 citing content and price as adoption drivers.
Content and price are also the reasons viewers return to previously canceled services. Twenty percent of streaming service buyers resubscribed to a service they’d previously dropped, a study from Alumna Insights said. A whopping 90% of users returned to the terminated service within a year of cancellation. Alumna Insights said discounts and new content were big attractors for users.
More services and companies have also reported stepping up the fight against piracy. For example, earlier this month, Plex, a company that offers users software to organize, curate and watch videos, said it would block at least one hosting service that supported pirated content. Premier League, an English football league, was also reported to have been cracking down on illegal streaming of its matches.
Yesterday, major streaming service players like Netflix, Paramount’s Paramount+, and Warner Bros. Discovery created the Streaming Innovation Alliance, the industry’s first unified coalition, to oppose government regulation. In addition to giving streaming companies a collective voice in Washington against efforts to bring streaming apps under cable law, SIA could also weigh in on future legal action against piracy.