AVIA: 1-in-4 Malaysians use pirate TV box

Piracy in Malaysia is not a new trend and has been always a topic of contention; thanks to the new attention the pirate TV box is attracting, the narrative is now on pirate content once more. The Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) put out a study that looks into this current threat to the content industry.

Among other things, the report confirms some 25% of the Malaysian population use a pirate TV box. These devices, also goes by Illegal Streaming Devices among law enforcement, offer hundreds of hours in content. Oftentimes, most are video-on-demand and what is available at the cinema.

The survey, a joint effort between AVIA’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) and YouGov, highlights the negative effects these devices create. From 33% of the study sample, three-in-five confirm they have cancelled all or some of their VOD TV services. Furthermore, for international services, the study reveal that one-in-five Malaysians have already opted out.

Similar findings around the region confirm that the use of ISDs is growing. For Singapore, 15% of Singapore consumers are using this device. Interestingly, the user count is even higher for the Philippines and Taiwan – 28% and 34% respectively. Of course, this growth confirms that these pirate TV box systems are now gaining traction.

While these devices are hurting the content industry, the secondary threat is now making itself known. More than that, the latter carry deeper and more deadly consequences. Hiding inside the ISDs are malware and malicious apps that are now beginning to show itself. These threats, according to AVIA, are an extension of the prevalent security issues present on illegal streaming portals.

As Singapore is already making moves to ban these ISDs, there are some quarters in Malaysia that is proposing for a similar move.

Text by: Victor Yap

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