Netflix and Stan turn pirates into paying customers

Australian piracy is down

Australians have always maintained that if given the opportunity to access their entertainment in an affordable and convenient manner, then they'd be less likely to illegally download movies and television shows.

Well, it appears that Aussies have put their money where their mouths are, as the IP Awareness Foundation has announced that piracy rates have seen a decrease in the country over the last year.

According to the findings in the IP Awareness Foundation's research, 25% of Australians aged between 18 and 64 pirate, which is a decrease from 29% last year.

The IP Awareness Foundation posits that the drop is due to a combination of factors, notably recent anti-piracy initiatives such as the Copyright Amendment Bill 2015, and the high-profile Dallas Buyers Club LLC trial, which almost saw copyright infringers threatened with letters demanding compensation.

People are saying "naaarrrrrrrrrr" to piracy

IP Awareness Executive Director Lori Flekser gave particular praise to "the leadership shown by Government in passing critical legislation, and the public discourse from Ministers Turnbull and Brandis, which has shone a light on this issue and given the creative industry the opportunity to have its say amidst the very vocal blogosphere and wide media coverage of a well intentioned but not always well-informed consumer advocacy campaign."

Though Flekser is quick to give mad props to the Government, it appears that the local launches of quality legal alternatives such as Netflix and Stan were most instrumental in the decline, with the Foundation reporting that the amount of people using legitimate streaming services in the country has gone from 26% last year to 32% this year.

While these numbers are promising, it appears that legal alternatives and legislation aren't enough to slow down some of the more persistent pirates, with 40% claiming to have illegally download even more material in 2015 than they did last year.

The people that have been pirating less however, gave several reasons for their changes in behaviour – 33% cite legal alternatives to piracy as being the main reason, 21% cite moral considerations, 16% cite self interest, and 13% say they no longer have the time to download and watch as much material as they did 12 months ago.

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.