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Annual Consumer Surveys on Online Copyright Infringement

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Since 2015, the Australian Government department with responsibility for copyright has commissioned annual surveys of Australian Internet users’ activities across several core content types to gain insights into levels of online content infringement.

The 2021 survey was conducted in April 2021 and involved 2,392 respondents. The 2021 results revealed that Australians continued to turn to lawful services to access online music, video games, live sport, movies and TV.

The results showed that streaming services were the go-to for many Australians. Unlawful consumption had decreased since 2020 and remained well below 2015 levels.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Levels of consumption of lawful content increased (from 66% in 2020 to 69% in 2021.
  • Consumption of unlawful content decreased (from 34% in 2020 to 30% in 2021).
  • Website-blocking measures are having an effect. When encountering a blocked site with unlawful content 77% of respondents advised that they gave up or sought alternative, lawful access.
  • The most popular content consumed online in 2021 was TV programs (57%), movies/films (53%) and music (45%).
  • Overall, consumption across all 5 content types declined compared to 2020.

From 2015-18 activities were measured in relation to music, video games, movies and TV programs, and live sport was also included in 2019. The sixth survey (2020) drew on the first five surveys to allow for continued measurement and analysis of online content consumption trends, infringement rates and motivating behaviours over time. However, in 2020, the survey methodology and questions were updated to reflect contemporary methods of content delivery and consumption. Comparisons between the results of the 2020 and later surveys and those conducted in 2019 and earlier should be made with caution.

You can view the Past Annual Consumer Surveys on Online Copyright Infringement survey findings for the years 2015-2018.