Singaporeans watch the most pirated English-language shows

Country is worst P2P infringer in AsiaPac.

"Although Singapore has a small population, it has the highest per capita incidence of peer-to-peer infringement of English-language TV shows in the Asia-Pacific region," according to a new report titled "“Digital, Legal and Anywhere – TV in Singapore Today” from CASBAA and international media and technology law firm Olswang.

"Such piracy makes it difficult for new content players to enter the market, and for existing players to justify investments in new platforms," the report added.

"Another issue is the regulatory 'tilted playing field' which favours foreign and illegitimate offerings over domestic options. In particular, domestic providers need to comply with various censorship rules which mean that, even when consumers can obtain the same content at the same time from Singapore-based providers, they are choosing to access uncut versions through other sources," it said further.

Despite the difficulties faced due to the proliferation of use of illegitimate video services, the main problem is more of awareness that legitimate services are indeed available.

To help combat this, CASBAA and Olswang announced that it has launched Singapore's first online directory of digital content available from legitimate sources. The pilot directory is available to all at finddigitaltv.com and allows users to search for content by genre, device or just search for content that is free.

"We hope that Singaporean consumers will be pleasantly surprised at the variety and richness of legitimate services that are now available" said Elle Todd, Partner, Olswang.

The report observes that multi-screen, multi-platform offerings of legitimate programming are rapidly multiplying in the city-state.

"The vast majority are coming from established content providers and pay-TV platforms such as StarHub and SingTel’s mio TV – sometimes separately and sometimes in partnership – while options not connected with existing players are still few. The other good news for consumers is that 44% of the offerings covered in the report and which appear in the directory are available free of charge," the report said.

“Viewers are increasingly consuming TV content in new and non-traditional ways prompted by increasing technology ownership and the proliferation of internet connected devices,” said John Medeiros, Chief Policy Officer, CASBAA. “Singapore’s combination of high broadband connectivity, affluence and multi-lingual population creates a particularly ripe environment for such new content choices.”



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