Why festive film piracy drives demand on what is arguably the world’s biggest VoD platform

Why festive film piracy drives demand on what is arguably the world’s biggest VoD platform

It’s hardly surprising that we love to watch seasonal films at Christmas. Studies have shown that watching Christmas movies releases dopamine which generates feelings of pleasure and satisfaction which we translate into happiness. Films like It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone or Love Actually remind us of Christmases past and the precious time spent with friends and family.

The proliferation of Christmas FAST channels by Hallmark, Sky,  Lifetime and other broadcasters naturally indicates seasonal demand for endless festive movies, and so do piracy audiences.

This is not news to anyone who has read any of our articles at MUSO.com before because piracy or unlicensed demand mimics legal or licensed demand in many ways, but with a few major differences.

Unlike legitimate streaming platforms, piracy has no licensing restrictions meaning that every film is available in the piracy network. So while legal broadcasters can analyse which film was the most popular on their channel in their region, MUSO’s data allows us to answer which Christmas movie is most popular with piracy audiences irrespective of channel or region.  Piracy data is a true picture of demand, without platform bias or direct marketing skew.

In many ways, piracy can be viewed as the world's largest Video-On-Demand platform, where every film or TV series is freely available with no platform exclusives or windowing restrictions, making the piracy audience the largest and one of the most valuable types of audience measurement data available.

Let’s look at the data.

25th December is consistently one of the highest days of the year for piracy activity for film content when measuring visits to piracy websites. In 2021, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Christmas Eve were the 3 highest days of the year with circa 25% more piracy than the highest other non-December day throughout the whole of the year.

* Film Piracy visit 2021 (The highest spike appears on December 25 2021)

In December 2021 the most popular movie in MUSO’s data was Venom: Let There Be Carnage (very festive). This is because big blockbuster movies will always have the highest audience demand, however, MUSO’s data allows us to analyse audience demand for any selection of titles, in this case, classic Christmas movies.

And we can see that across the whole of December 2021, Home Alone and Home Alone 2 were the most popular classic nostalgic Christmas movies, with Home Alone having over 150% more demand than Elf with global piracy audiences.

* Classic Christmas Film Piracy demand December 2021

Classics like National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Die Hard, It’s a Wonderful Life and Love Actually make the top 10 with demand being driven by the USA, the UK and Canada.


* Classic Christmas Film Piracy demand December 2021 by global distribution


In conclusion, unlicensed audience demand data across the piracy ecosystem is arguably the world's largest Video On Demand platform.  This data provides a unique opportunity to understand the whole picture of audience consumption, one that is not biased or restricted by provider or platform licensing. Understanding this audience enables FAST channels and broadcasters to give the audiences what they really want to watch, by using the data to maximise regional and global programming.

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MUSO is a data company that provides the most complete and trusted view of unlicensed media consumption and global piracy demand. MUSO’s unrivalled dataset measures a vast high intent audience that is not influenced by licensing restriction or platform bias. Whether protecting IP or building winning content strategies, MUSO helps companies make better decisions that drive performance, ROI and value.


Film/ Television