The popularity of torrents is declining: where users of illegal content are going

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According to the report from the EU Intellectual Property Office, the popularity of torrents is declining. However, this does not mean that users of illegal content are subscribing to the resources massively.

According to the agency’s report, the level of piracy in the European Union is declining. Residents of high per capita income countries visit pirate sites less often than citizens of poorer countries.

Where do internet hackers go

  • The researchers studied the traffic of sites containing pirated copies of TV programs, movies and music in euro area countries (including the United Kingdom) in 2017-2020.
  • data provided by UK counterfeit content research agency MUSO.
  • The data collected was compared with indicators of economic and social development in European countries provided by Eurostat.

Thus, it has been found that the volume of traffic to the pirate websites is steadily decreasing. Between 2017 and 2020, the overall level of piracy halved: access to illegal music by 81%, films by 61%, television content by 41%.

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a temporary increase in interest in unlicensed copies of television programs, films and series, but already in April 2020, traffic continued to decline in all categories of content.

The level of piracy depends on the economic development of the countries. It is strongly influenced by per capita income. For example, the level of film piracy is highest in Greece, Bulgaria and Slovakia. The smallest is found in Poland and Germany. Piracy is also on the decline in the states with the most legal video and music sites.

Users have stopped downloading torrents

In addition, the researchers found that

pirated online cinemas receive more traffic than torrent sites.

  • Video streaming accounts for up to 80% of hacked traffic.
  • There are exceptions: in Estonia, Hungary, Malta, Portugal and Slovenia, torrents are still more popular than pirated streaming.
  • The share of file and torrent downloads in 2020 is equivalent to 7% of hacked traffic. In 2017, this figure was 12%.

Gone are the days of torrent trackers.

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