In a recent study of the online content viewing behaviour of Malaysian consumers, it was revealed that 25% of consumers use a TV box which can be used to stream pirated television and video content. These TV boxes, also known as Illicit Streaming Devices (ISDs), allow users to access hundreds of pirated television channels and video-on-demand content. Such illicit streaming devices often come pre-loaded with pirated applications which are either free or charge low subscription fees, which then provide ‘plug-and-play’ access to pirated content.

 

The survey, commissioned by the Asia Video Industry Association’s (AVIA) Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), and conducted by YouGov, also highlights the detrimental effects of streaming piracy on legitimate subscription video services. Of the 33% of consumers who purchased an illicit streaming device for free streaming, three in five (60%) stated that they cancelled all or some of their subscription to legal pay TV services. Specifically, 35% asserted that they cancelled their subscriptions to a Malaysian-based online video service as a direct consequence of owning an ISD. International subscription services, which include pan-Asia online offerings, were also impacted – nearly one in five (19%) Malaysian users abandoned subscriptions in favour of ISD purchases.

 

The surge in popularity of ISDs is not unique to Malaysia. Similar YouGov consumer research has been undertaken in other South East Asian countries where high levels of ISD usage was also found: 15% of Singapore consumers, 20% of Hong Kong consumers, 28% of Filipino consumers and 34% consumers of Taiwanese consumers use a TV box which can be used to stream pirated television and video content.