EY, Telecom News, ET Telecom

New Delhi: The second wave of COVID-19 has accelerated digital piracy in India, which was already on the rise when the pandemic hit the country last year, causing original content creators to lose money by up to five times what they earn from real screens, according to a senior official at consulting firm EY India. The movement of organized content from cinemas to OTT platforms with the advent of new technologies has also increased digital piracy as these platforms are not free.

“The second wave accelerated this problem because more and more people are now watching these things at home, and now the technological infrastructure allows you to see anything and everything from home”, EY India, Partner – Forensic and Integrity Services, Mukul Shrivastava, said.

He added: “The situation was the same then (first wave) and probably worse now, as people are now used to watching everything on an OTT platform and they would choose any angle to watch content. free.”

In the new age, some of the methods by which people loot video content include – sharing passwords and credentials, sharing files over the internet and through social media, and buying boxes. illegal streaming.

Regarding the risk of original content creators losing revenue through piracy, he said, “I think this is a huge problem. We certainly saw that it increased last year and it continues this year as well. . ”

When asked how much content creators in India could lose in the future due to digital piracy, Shrivastava said although there is no data to quantify it, “I would say more than revenue whether organizations make genuine display of movies or any other creative content, they’re losing three, four, five times that money on piracy. ”

According to a report by Digital TV Research, revenue loss for OTT players due to piracy in India is expected to reach $ 3.08 billion by 2022, while the cost of global online streaming piracy will reach $ 52 billion. dollars by 2022.

Explaining why there has been an escalation in digital piracy, he said that due to restrictions to curb the pandemic, theaters and all public places where people go out for entertainment are closed.

“So the only entertainment they have is all of the content available on their portable devices, mostly phones,” Shrivastava said, adding that the number of viewers under normal circumstances was also increasing even before the pandemic hit because India is a country that consumes a lot of content.

“It is increasing in geometric progression right now and piracy is also increasing as a result,” he added.

Shrivastava said there are solutions to tackle digital piracy, but right now many companies have other priorities due to the pandemic.

“It’s not a priority at the moment, but I think next year it will definitely increase significantly,” he said.

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