Piracy among young Europeans continues to decline. Good news for rights holders, but it will be short-lived: to explain their gesture, pirates deplore the proliferation of platforms and subscriptions. A basic trend that could push many users to start pirating.
In 2016, the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) counted 39% of pirates in the 15-24 age category. In 2022, the same EUIPO study shows that the piracy rate has fallen in this population, it is only 33%. 21% of the approximately 22,021 respondents admitted to having pirated content in the last twelve months, but 12% did so “by accident”.
The issue of subscription costs
The vast majority of young Europeans (60%) have never pirated anything in the last twelve months. Of course, there are significant differences between countries. Thus, in Malta, more than half of the population surveyed admitted to having access to illegal content, compared to only a quarter in Germany.
In France, 10% of music consumers only listen to illegally downloaded tracks, while in the Netherlands this figure is only 1.5%. The most typical profile is that of the person who consumes legal and illegal content.
The EUIPO study, which takes place every three years, also shows that it is among the most educated young people that piracy is most common. 28% of those with a college degree intentionally hacked something in the past year, compared to 15% of those who quit during or after high school.
While the cost of subscriptions is often cited as a reason for using pirate sites, employed students hack more often (24%) than those without jobs (18%). The former probably want to avoid squandering the fruits of their labor, while the latter are often helped by their parents. Their money may be worth less to them.
More than half of young people who download or stream illegally cite cost as the primary motivation for pirating (55%). For 25% of them, the lack of availability of content is the main reason: a series that disappears from a legal streaming site can push a fan to pirate the sequel.