Pirate video services grew in revenue, but lost market position

Pirate video services grew in revenue, but lost market position


The market for pirated video services in Russia grew by 11%, to 3.36 billion rubles. This happened primarily due to the devaluation of the ruble, say J’son & Partners Consulting; in dollar terms, the market fell by 13.3%, to $39 million. The share of pirates in total market revenues decreased from 3.4% to 2. 9%. Lostfilm remains the leader among illegal resources. Legal video services are working on a site monitoring system as part of an anti-piracy memorandum and are trying to deprive pirates of income through a legislative ban on advertising on their sites.

“Kommersant” got acquainted with the report of J’son & Partners Consulting “Atlas of the market of legal video services in Russia, results of 2023.” It follows from it that revenues from video content piracy in 2023 increased by 11%, to 3.36 billion rubles, but their market share decreased from 3.4% to 2.9%. Growth is observed only in rubles, analysts say; in dollars, due to devaluation, the market fell by 13.3%, to $39 million. Lostfilm remains the leader among pirated video services, according to an online survey by 3R Research (cities 100 thousand+), which refer to J’son & Partners Consulting. But its share is declining – from 45% in 2023 to 42.7% at the beginning of 2024. In second place is LordFilm, whose share increased by 2.1 percentage points (pp.) to 39.5%. Zona closes the top three, whose share increased by 7.7 percentage points to 29.1%.

As a result, the top three in 2023 accounted for 106%, and in 2024 – already 111%. The survey allowed you to select more than one service, J’son & Partners Consulting noted: “Due to blocking, users are forced to switch between resources more often.” The most popular film on pirated resources in 2023 was the new “Avatar”, in second place was “Guardians of the Galaxy: Part 3”, and “Barbie” closed the top three.

The main reason for the decline in the pirate market share is the growth of legal services and “the fight at the legislative level,” according to J’son & Partners Consulting. But they admit that thanks to the growth of advertising and the lack of “new implemented anti-piracy initiatives,” the illegal market is “adapting.” The main advertisers on pirated services remain tobacco and alcohol producers, as well as crypto exchanges, analysts say, “but due to a lack of inventory, there were examples of placements by producers of meat, clothing and tableware.” The company believes that the volume of advertising on pirate sites will decrease under the influence of its labeling.

According to MUSO (monitoring piracy) and Kearney data for 2023, Russia is in third place in the world in consuming pirated video content. To combat it, a group of deputies led by the head of the information policy committee, Alexander Khinshtein, proposed transferring the authority to block “mirrors” of pirated sites from the Ministry of Digital Development to Roskomnadzor (RKN) (see Kommersant on January 25).

Gazprom Media Holding (GPMH, which includes Premier) agrees with the assessment of J’son & Partners Consulting. On most large sites, GPMH was able to minimize the presence of copies of the content of the holding companies, blocking their “mirrors” through the Moscow City Court, the Ministry of Digital Development or RKN, explained Pavel Rusakov, director of the intellectual property protection department of GPM Digital Innovations GPMH: “We continue to improve protection mechanisms – we optimize automatic search, strengthening judicial protection and increasing the recovery of property compensation from owners of pirated sites.”

Last year, Start identified more than 700 thousand pirated links on the Internet and more than 130 thousand on social networks. This is almost double the figures for 2022, they noted. Kion CEO Alexey Ivanov confirms that the platforms are “improving in protecting their interests.”

In 2024, GPMH plans to refine the mechanisms of the internal security system to optimize the search for pages containing violations. He is also involved in the development of a site monitoring system as part of the anti-piracy memorandum, says Pavel Rusakov: “The issue of legislative control over advertising on pirate sites is also being studied.” General Director of the Internet Video Association (unites Ivi, Start, Okko, Amediateka) Alexey Byrdin believes that it is necessary to apply sanctions to sites and domains that have repeatedly appeared in the anti-piracy register at the level of search engine results: “We are working on such an initiative with Yandex within the framework of the anti-piracy memorandum.”

How legal video services grew

Revenue from legal video services in the Russian Federation in 2023 increased by 28.9%, to 111.7 billion rubles, according to J’son & Partners Consulting. This is above the 2021 high. In 2024–2028, the average annual growth will be 6.6%, the market will increase to 153.75 billion rubles, analysts believe. At the same time, they note that the share of the Russian market in the global market remains at only 0.8%. The overall increase in the market was ensured not only by fiction, but also by documentary projects – their number more than doubled in 2023, to 48.

Yulia Yurasova, Alexey Zhabin


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