Streaming services are projected to lose out on hundreds of billions of dollars as a result of piracy over the next five years. A new study shows that pirating websites and password sharing could cost providers upwards of $100 billion in that relatively short time span.

Parks Associates, a market research and consulting company, analyzed piracy threats and the ensuing development of anti-piracy techniques. A number of video media companies, including Netflix, are taking steps to reduce piracy and password sharing. However, Parks Associates contributing analyst Steve Hawley says companies do not know when the anti-piracy may show results.

“While there is some optimism that emerging countermeasures and best-practices may see piracy begin to plateau by 2027, there is no consensus among stakeholders as to when it may begin to decline,” Hawley said.

If it is simply plateauing by 2027, Parks Associates estimates lost revenue could reach as much as $113 billion. The research firm expects piracy rates for US TV and film to rise from 22% in 2022 to 24.5% by 2027. Moreover, in 2020, visits to piracy website ballooned, and they increased by 31% as more people made demanded streaming content.

“The number of households who share account credentials and consume pirated content is rising. People are increasingly looking for new ways to satisfy entertainment needs,” said Sarah Lee, a research analyst for Parks Associates. “Participation in sharing account credentials increased 48% since 2019.” 

Streaming services for soccer also suffering from piracy

While Parks Associates primarily named streaming services in film and TV programming, the same types of piracy can apply to soccer. In particular, take password sharing. Paramount+, ESPN+ and Peacock all allow for multiple streams at one time. Each of those provides three concurrent streams at one time.

Therefore, three different people in three different houses could watch one soccer game. With major games exclusive to streaming, including a title decider between Manchester City and Arsenal on Peacock, this could damage the potential revenue for NBC’s platform.

One of the proposed solutions could come from Netflix, which is allowing users to share accounts for an extra fee. Or, Adobe could provide some insight. The company launched Prime Account IQ to analyze when subscribers are sharing account details.