MUSO, the leading content protection, data-analytics and piracy audience reconnection solutions provider reveals that in 2015 there were 2.19bn visits to illegal book sites. The company’s Market Insights Reports platform highlights the sheer volume of infringements occurring globally, and the two primary ways audiences are discovering unlicensed eBook content.
According to information provided by the Association of American Publishers, US publishers across all categories lose $80 million to $100 million annually to piracy – and that estimate may be too conservative. For the first time, MUSO is bringing to light an accurate view of the scale of digital piracy in the publishing sector.
Of the 2.19bn piracy site visits, 60% went to torrent piracy platforms, where a reported 98% of content is infringing. Infringing eBook content on torrent sites maintained a consistent demand, as by the end of 2015, these sites saw 99.4m visits. The vast majority (77%) of this infringement is via desktop computers as opposed to mobile devices (23%). However, in both categories there was a downward trend from the first 6 months visits to the last 6 months’ visits, most notably seen in mobile device visits falling 24.34%.
An unsurprising statistic, as piracy market demand for eBook content shows signs of following the overall trend for other media formats like TV, film and music, and with that the burgeoning popularity of web downloads. This is the other delivery format preferred by piracy eBook audiences with 37.7% of the total visits to eBook piracy sites going to web download sites. Similarly, to P2P sites, download infringements are predominantly via desktops (70.80%) as opposed to mobile (29.20%). By December 2015, there were a total of 65.93m monthly visits to download sites, highlighting a future trend towards web downloads as the go-to piracy delivery type for a larger emerging eBook piracy audience.
According to a report done by the IBTimes UK, a fast growing sector for illegal eBooks is Google’s own ‘Play’ app store, with eBook piracy becoming proliferated through this medium. Alongside authorised copies of popular books such as the 50 shades trilogy by E.L James, all seven Harry Potter books, or George RR Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series, there are copies of each bestseller being sold at the fraction of the usual retail price, presenting another piracy obstacle for the publishing industry.
Early signs indicate audiences moving away from P2P/torrent as a piracy delivery preference, and turning to web download sites to get their literary fix. As the digital eBook market continue to gear up over the next years, publishers are entering a crucial period of change in engaging in new, fully-digital readership, and ensuring they find the licensed option to be the obvious choice in building their literary universe.
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