Research shows online piracy drops with “Netflix Effect”

New research from consumer advocacy group CHOICE has found that Australians are abandoning piracy and embracing new legal streaming services such as Netflix to access timely and affordable content.

The research comes as talks around the industry’s poorly conceived internet filter have stalled as big movie houses, Foxtel and ISPs struggle to agree on who will foot the bill for punishing consumers.


“The fact is the number of people regularly pirating in Australia has dropped by a quarter since Netflix launched,” says CHOICE Campaigns Manager, Erin Turner.

“This proves once again that making content affordable and easily available is the first and most effective tactic to reduce piracy – not a draconian internet filter and notice scheme.

“As a nation we are keen to pay for legal content. Our research found the number of people using legal subscription and pay-per-view services has jumped from 46% to 59% in the last six months.

“The increase is directly related to the launch of Netflix in Australia and the emergence of a local streaming industry, with players such as Stan and Presto competing for customers and offering consumers real alternatives to piracy,” Ms Turner says.

The research shows the number of people who pirate film or TV at least monthly has decreased by a quarter since the CHOICE survey was last conducted in November 2014, moving from 23% in 2014 to 17%. Overall rates of piracy have also reduced, from 33% to 30%.

“It’s clear the drop in piracy is a result of increased availability of legal streaming services in Australia,” says Ms Turner.

“It’s time for the content industry to stop ignoring the facts and end the massive waste of time and money pursuing their obsession with a useless internet filter and an education notice scheme.

“These policies won’t work, because they do not address the reasons people pirate; they just prop up outdated business models. Unlawful downloading comes down to availability, timeliness and affordability.”

Consumers can join CHOICE’s call for an effective response to piracy at

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