Synamedia unveiled research analysing the impact of sports and entertainment piracy across seven countries and the potential revenues that would result from converting pirate viewers to legal subscribers.

The study, conducted by Ampere Analysis, found the value of entertainment piracy is three times bigger than sports piracy and that the fragmentation of rights across more services is now affecting piracy in the entertainment market as it has for sports.

Synamedia study finds comedy is most pirated genre

Avigail Gutman, Synamedia

The research revealed that comedy is the most pirated genre of entertainment, driven by titles including Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and Ted Lasso, with half of all pirate viewers streaming comedy illegally. This is followed by the action and adventure genre, and the crime and thriller category respectively.

Of the seven countries surveyed, Synamedia’s report finds that the market with the most to gain is the US, with the potential of $13.7bn annually by stopping movie and TV piracy and an additional $5bn related to sports. This would generate $5.9bn in annual income for US streaming providers, with the 28 most heavily pirated movies and TV titles alone contributing up to $1.8bn in new revenues.

According to the research, Germany, Italy and the UK have the lowest levels of piracy. But, by stopping piracy and converting pirate viewers to legal subscribers in the UK for example, video providers and content owners have the potential to unlock $1.36bn for entertainment and $1.17bn for sports annually.

Avigail Gutman, vice president of intelligence and security operations at Synamedia, commented: “Unless the industry takes action, the fragmentation of premium content compounded by the current economic climate will continue to drive viewers to both paid and free piracy services. This represents a real risk to rights holders, broadcasters and streaming providers. As well as using tools and techniques to protect content and services, operators can counter the rise in piracy by ensuring content is easy to find and meeting consumers’ demands for mobile-first services, as well as more aggregated services and billing.”