Study: Millennial Piracy Trends Shifting

Nearly 70% of young millennials (ages 18 to 24) admit they use at least one form of piracy, but how they steal content has changed compared to years past, with a vast majority using streaming and mobile app services vs. downloads.

Of the 2,700-plus millennials surveyed by creative services agency Anatomy Media for its “Millennials at the Gate” report, 42% said they engage in piracy via desktop streaming, while 41% said they steal content via mobile apps. Only 17% said they download content illegally.

Millennial attitudes toward downloading was backed up further with 37% saying it was wrong to torrent content, but only 18% saying streaming illegally was wrong.

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“This reflects an aggregate shift in the nature of content theft from torrenting to streaming and is consistent with the industry-wide behavioral shift from purchasing and downloading to renting and streaming,” the report reads. “It is notable, however, that in both instances the majority of the respondents did not feel that either behavior was wrong.”

More than two thirds of those interviewed for the survey also said that some forms of piracy are legal, a perception likely based on how web sites dealing with illegal downloads and streaming have made it a point to look legitimate and professionally produced.

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“There is nothing to distinguish a pirate site from a legitimate content aggregator or to signal to the user that they are participating in something illegal,” the report reads.

The report also found that younger millennials have no problems with sharing passwords for subscription and TV Everywhere content sites, with only 18% saying password sharing was wrong. Nearly 60% said they share passwords within the family, while 42% reported sharing with friends.