More than two-thirds of all millennials admit to having downloaded or streamed pirated content, a new survey from Anatomy Media finds. The same group also has a high preference for ad-blocking, which is believed to be directly related to the high prevalence of invasive ads on pirate sites.
Despite the availability of many legal services, piracy remains rampant among millennials in the United States.
This is one of the main conclusions of the “Millennials at the Gate” report, released by Anatomy Media. The report is based on a comprehensive survey of 2,700 young millennials between 18 and 24, and zooms in on piracy and ad-blocking preferences in this age group.
The results show that more than two thirds, a whopping 69%, admit to using at least one form of piracy to watch video.
Online streaming is by far the most popular choice among these pirates, whether it’s on the desktop (42%) or via mobile (41%). Torrenting, on the other hand, is on the decline and is stuck at 17% in this age group.
Streaming from unofficial sources is so dominant now that Anatomy Media decided to come up with a new word for those who engage in it: striminals. Whether they seriously considered the better fitting “striminalennials” is unclear.
“These streaming millennial criminals, or what we call ‘striminals,’ watch what they want, when they want, where they want, and they don’t pay for it,” the company explains.
Interestingly, 67% of all millennials believe that streaming unauthorized content is perfectly legal. Only 18% believe that it is wrong to stream content without paying for it.
It’s worth highlighting that it’s up for debate whether the term “criminal” accurately describes people who casually stream unauthorized videos. Attempts to make streaming a felony previously failed in the United States congress.
In addition to online piracy, young millennials are quite fond of ad-blockers. The report shows that two out of three use a mobile or desktop ad-blocker, or both.
Interestingly, there is a direct link between the use of ad-blockers and online piracy. Millennials who are into mobile piracy use mobile ad-blockers more often, while desktop pirates have a higher preference for desktop ad-blockers.
Anatomy Media suggest that piracy and ad-blocking might reinforce each other. Online pirates may be more likely to use ad-blockers because pirate sites are often ad-ridden, they argue. However, this causal relationship wasn’t researched.
Piracy and ad-blocking
While the above paints a grim picture for media companies, not all is lost according to Anatomy Media. The company, which conveniently specializes in “creative advertising,” says that a better viewing experience could encourage millennials to move over to the right side.
“Young millennials’ dissatisfaction with their viewer experience and their overwhelming adoption of ad blockers is a call-to-action to improve the viewer experience and review the nature of the digital ad experience,” the report concludes.
“Millennials will accept advertising as long as it is restrained, targeted and relevant,” the company self-servingly adds.