Australia’s Online Piracy problem halved in the last year, thanks to streaming services and the NBN

Thanks to the rise in popularity of streaming services, the rate of online piracy is reducing in Australia.

The 2019 consumer survey on online copyright infringement shows that the number of Australians consuming pirated movies, television shows, music and video games is at its lowest level in 5 years.

Given an increase in connectivity, thanks to the rollout of the NBN reaching more homes, streaming is now a viable options for millions of households in Australia. There’s also more content available through IPTV services and more services to choose from than ever in 2019.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, welcomed the significant decrease in the consumption of pirated content and said it was in part due to the rising popularity of subscription entertainment services – such as Netflix, Spotify, Stan and Disney+ – and the rollout of ubiquitous high-speed broadband via the National Broadband Network.

The Online Copyright Infringement Survey 2019, commissioned by the Department of Communications and the Arts, found that 80% of survey respondents download, stream or share online content (lawfully and unlawfully), up from 78% in 2018. Streaming was the preferred method of consumption for music, movies and TV programs.

“As internet speeds increase and more Australians connect to the National Broadband Network, online entertainment is becoming a bigger part of people’s lives.

It is pleasing to see Australians increasingly turn to legitimately-sourced content. It is widely accessible and reasonably priced, which supports the continued growth and success of our creative industries.”

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP

The survey had 2,463 responses from Australians aged over 12 recorded their online usage across the categories of TV programs, movies, music, live sport, video games, e-books and PC software. 

The number of respondents who reported consuming infringing online content halved, from 32% of respondents in 2018 to 16% in 2019.

Given the simplicity and high quality video content (often now in 4K), it’s not entirely surprising to see this drop in piracy. Solving the availability of content, ensuring the price is right and the connectivity available, was always going to be the answer to this problem, rather than trying to fine pirates out of existence.

The survey is available at:

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021


  1. Spend more time fixing your junk NBN FTTN roll out Paul……less time telling everyone how good a job your doing….. FTTH or nothing….. silly liberals.

  2. This is almost funny in light of a recent article on Ars Technica that talked about the inflation of streaming services. As nobody will or can afford to sign up to the plethora now swarming the market and with popular shows spread all over, people are going *back* to pirating in the USA. Sign of things to come in Australia until some bright spark comes up with the concept of bundling?

    Also, dare we speak of the elephant in the room, which is NBN performance in some places worse than the DSL it replaced (especially fixed wireless) which results in *neither* streaming nor pirating being feasible any longer? One way to solve that problem, I suppose?

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