Usage of illicit streaming devices among Malaysian sees slight dip, finds study

The use of illicit streaming devices (ISDs), also known as TV boxes, is still common among Malaysian consumers to stream pirated TV and video content, according to a study commissioned by the Asia Video Industry Association’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) and conducted by YouGov. The latest research marks a slight decrease from a similar study undertaken in January, which found that 25% of Malaysian online consumers used ISDs to stream pirated television and video content.

Of the 23% of consumers, 64% stated that they had cancelled all or some of their subscription to legal pay TV services. Specifically, 34% asserted that they cancelled their local pay TV subscriptions as a direct consequence of owning an ISD. International subscription services, which includes pan Asia-only offerings, were impacted as well – 20% of Malaysian users have abandoned subscriptions in favor of ISD purchases.

The research also found that 50% of Malaysian online consumers have accessed streaming piracy websites or torrent sites to access premium content without paying any subscription fees. In addition to the short term problem of cancelled subscriptions is a longer term problem – many of the people using ISDs are young. ISDs are particularly favoured among 18 to 245 year olds, with 76% cancelling legitimate subscription services as a result of owning an ISD.

GM of AVIA’s CAP Neil Gane, said the piracy ecosystem is "highly fragmented". As such, it is developing and refining a holistic solution to include enhanced legislation to allow for effective enforcement; meaningful cooperation with e-platforms and other intermediaries, disabling access to pirated content through efficient and effective site blocking and consumer outreach.

In February this year, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission and the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs conducted an in-depth study on potentially banning ISDs. In June, four Malaysian businessmen were charged for possessing and selling unlicensed Android TV boxes and audio-video sender equipment and fined RM70,000.

(Photo courtesy: 123RF)