A new study of the online content viewing behaviour of Indonesian consumers, has found a massive 55% reduction in consumers accessing piracy websites over the past ten months. The survey commissioned by the Asia Video Industry Association’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) and conducted by YouGov, found that 28% of online consumers currently use piracy streaming websites or torrent sites to access pirated content, far less than the 63% from a similar survey conducted in September 2019. The recent survey also found an 80% reduction in the number of consumers who use an illicit streaming device (ISD) when compared to the September 2019 survey.
This significant reduction in content piracy levels identified by the YouGov survey is supported by analysis of Indonesian traffic data undertaken by AVIA’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), which saw overall reach to piracy streaming websites drop by 68% between August 2019 and June 2020.
When compared to similar CAP commissioned YouGov surveys undertaken in the region, Indonesia currently has the lowest levels of ISD usage when compared to Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan, and is second only to Singapore in currently having the lowest levels of consumers accessing piracy streaming websites or torrent sites.
Since July 2019 the Indonesian regulator (KOMINFO), working alongside the Video Coalition of Indonesia (VCI), has blocked in excess of 2,300 piracy streaming sites and ISD applications averaging sixty (60) piracy sites being blocked every 10 days. Although later expanded to all piracy sites, the initial focus was on the Indonesian-based “indoXXi” crime group, whose flagship site was one of the most popular sites in Asia Pacific. The rampant piracy levels identified by YouGov in late 2019 were escalated to both the President’s and the Vice-President’s office, resulting in senior government officials vowing to identify and prosecute those operating the indoXXi network of sites unless they cease their operations. The strong rhetoric resulted in the indoXXi announcing that it would officially close down its operations as of January 1st. The announcement was made across their various social media accounts.
“Happy New Year 2020. As of today our site is no longer accessible, as is the case with the Indoxxi lite application. Thank you for being a loyal viewer of INDOXXI until now, always support the creative industry to be more advanced in the future. Greetings, INDOXXI”
The government’s ‘rolling’ site blocking continued into 2020 and according to this latest independent consumer survey has had a direct impact on consumer viewing habits, with 50% of consumers noticing piracy websites were being continually blocked and stating that they no longer accessed any piracy websites, and a further 34% stating that they now “only rarely” accessed piracy websites.
The continual site blocking has also had a significant impact on consumer behaviour who are now more likely to access legal content platforms. 16% of consumers who said they were aware of the government blocking piracy sites, have since subscribed to a paid streaming service; 23% say they now spend more time viewing free (AVOD) local streaming services; and 74% now predominantly watch free (AVOD) international streaming services.
Mr. Joko Anwar, one of Indonesia’s most successful film directors, stated, “The creative industry has always been a victim of online piracy. The Government’s efforts to eradicate this is both, commendable and encouraging. We have always tried to fight this individually and failed but with a joint effort by the whole industry has finally borne fruit.
“I feel extremely motivated to take this issue another step forward and encourage others in the industry to join the Video Coalition of Indonesia to annihilate the issue altogether. Lastly, I would like to thank KOMINFO, the Coalition Against Piracy and the various entities in their efforts to battle this old sworn enemy of ours.”
Mr. Chand Parwez, Chairman of Asosiasi Perusahaan Film Indonesia (APFI) commented “We are heartened and inspired by the extensive attention KOMINFO has put to fighting piracy. Their efforts have prompted the shutdown of one of Indonesia’s most infamous piracy sites and we will continue to support KOMINFO in its efforts to protect Indonesians from exposure to illegal activities while also protecting the rights of content creators.”
Neil Gane, the General Manager of AVIA’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) said “We applaud KOMINFO for their sustained efforts in disrupting piracy website networks which are being monetised by crime syndicates. Consumers who access piracy streaming sites or buy ISDs are not only funding crime groups, but also wasting their time and money when the channels and websites stop working. Piracy services do not come with a ‘service guarantee’, no matter what the ISD seller or website operators may claim.”
Mr Hendy Lim, Vice President, Content Business EMTEK commented: “We appreciate the efforts by KOMINFO and related parties in supporting the industry in combating the piracy. It’s time for everyone in the content industry to step up and take firm action against online piracy. It has already cost the content industry in job losses and lost revenues as well as hurting everyone in tax losses which should be payable to government.”
The financial damage that online piracy does to Indonesia’s creative industries is without dispute. It is also encouraging that the damage done to Indonesian consumers themselves, because of the nexus between content piracy and malware, is also beginning to be understood and preventive measure being put in place. In the recent YouGov survey when asked about the negative consequences of online piracy, consumers placed funding crime groups, loss of jobs in the creative industry and malware risks as their top three concerns.