Movie & TV Giants Say French Pirate Site Audiences Are Continuously Shrinking

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French anti-piracy group ALPA represents some the world's largest movie and TV show companies and through various organizations, the recording industry and authors' groups. A new ALPA, Mediametria, and NetRatings study suggests positive news for the French entertainment industry. Minus an anomaly during the pandemic, local pirate site audiences continue to fall year-on-year and are currently just half of those reported five years ago.

franceALPA, the Association Against Audiovisual Piracy (Association de Lutte contre la Piraterie Audiovisuelle) has been active in France since the mid-eighties.

With heavyweight backing from the Hollywood studios of the MPA, and the music industry through a number of large groups and organizations, wherever there’s a piracy fight in France, ALPA is unlikely to be too far away. The anti-piracy group also publishes various studies, including one that estimates audiences for pirate sites that have a key focus on France.

New Report Delivers Positive News for the Industry

Published in French, the latest edition of ‘Audience For Illicit Sites Dedicated to Video Consumption in France‘ covers the period December 2021 to December 2023. The ALPA, Mediametria, and NetRatings study has been running for the last eight years and while 2016/17/18 showed few signs of pirate audiences in decline, recent years suggest a continuous downward trend.

Illicit Video Site Audiences, Dec 2021/2023 (ALPA)

Following a peak in 2018, in part due to the addition of mobile devices as a viewing source, the only year to show an uplift in pirate audiences was 2021. Linked directly to the COVID pandemic, during which piracy increased almost everywhere, 2021 can probably be ironed out as an anomaly.

According to the report, average monthly audiences for Frace-focused pirate sites dropped from 11.8m in 2019 to 6.3 million in December 2023, roughly half the size they were five years earlier.

Effect of Enforcement Actions, Deterrent Measures

While the chart below shows audiences in clear overall decline since early 2022, the suggested effect of enforcement measures and deterrent messaging on audience size, is a bit of a mixed bag.


Decisions handed down by local courts (labeled Décisions judiciaires) since late December 2021 at times precede reductions in pirate audience size. However, the opposite is also true in some cases, most notably at the end of July 2022.

Piracy Audiences By Piracy Method

French pirates have traditionally gravitated towards so-called DDL services. In terms of overall audience share, those platforms are currently neck-and-neck with streaming platforms, which tend to enjoy overall dominance elsewhere.


Between December 2021 and early 2023, audiences for streaming sites and DDL platforms display a loose mirror effect; when streaming sites peaked, DDL sites troughed. Beyond February 2023, audiences for streaming and DDL platforms appear to sync, with DDL platforms commanding a greater audience share, albeit briefly, in April 2023 and again in August 2023.

The study’s overall conclusions indicate a strong reduction in piracy audiences when compared to those seen in 2016, including a 15% overall reduction in 2023 versus 2022.

During the same period, audiences for legal content experienced a small decrease of 2%. That’s not an especially concerning figure in itself but if declining pirate audiences fail to translate into at least some increases for legal audiences, that would seem to be a much bigger worry.

ALPA’s report is available here (pdf)


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