Following the introduction of Sweden’s IPRED anti-piracy legislation on April 1st last year, the country saw a huge 30% drop in Internet traffic. Many attributed this fall to Internet users become scared that they would be caught downloading and sharing copyright material.
Several months later in November 2009, TorrentFreak looked at some Netnod data which seemed to indicate that not only had Swedish traffic levels returned to pre-IPRED levels, but actually surpassed them.
Swedish traffic recovers after IPRED
Traffic levels naturally increase year-on-year anyway, so it was difficult to be certain that that this boost was related to recovering levels of online piracy. However, new research just published by a consultancy firm seems to suggest that accessing illicit material online is indeed on the increase.
Mediavision bills itself an independent consultancy firm specializing in analyzing consumer behavior within the sphere of digital media. Its clients include media groups, TV channels, advertisers and production companies.
In its just published 2009 fourth quarter report, the company reveals that it detected an increase in the downloading of TV shows during the autumn of that year. In the 15 to 74 year-old bracket, 1.4 million Internet users engaged in that activity.
In the 15 to 24 year old group, 0.5 million used illicit streaming services to access both movies and TV shows, a method which Mediavision believes is becoming more sought after. 20% of the respondents in this age group admitted using them.
The company further says that 60% of 15 to 24 year-olds are estimated to have consumed illicit media online via various means in the fourth quarter of 2009, versus 40% of the 15 to 74 year-olds. This figure is the same as that reported by Mediavision before IPRED was introduced.
Overall, the company says it believes that the accessing of illicit movies and TV shows via the web has recovered at least to pre-IPRED levels, maybe slightly higher.
Jens Heron at Mediavision says that the piracy situation with TV shows would improve if foreign TV shows and other international became more readily available, at a time and place of the consumers’ choosing.
“Our analysis shows that consumers increasingly want to decide for themselves when to watch and from which screen. Unfortunately, many have become adept at circumventing the IPRED legislation. The way to remedy this, in addition to legislation, is, of course, by offering great legal alternatives,” he added.
Indeed, as earlier reported, around 10% of Swedes aged between 15 and 25 are taking measures to neutralize IPRED, with as many as 500,000 others in the country following suit. Måns Svensson, PhD in Sociology of Law in Lund, estimated that 6 to 7 percent of all Swedes could now be hiding themselves online.