The Live TV Gateway is the fastest growing segment of online piracy, according to a joint study commissioned by Google and PRS for Music.
BAE Systems Detica identified six distinct business models behind online copyright infringement, with each one having clear commercial purposes. The other five segments are; the P2P Community; Subscription Community; Music Transaction; Rewarded Freemium and Embedded Streaming.
Commenting on the report Google’s Theo Bertram, a former Downing Street adviser said: “Our research shows there are many different business models for online infringement which can be tackled if we work together. The evidence suggests that one of the most effective ways to do this is to follow the money, targeting the advertisers who choose to make money from these sites and working with payment providers to ensure they know where their services are being used.”
Live TV Gateways provide livestreams of free-to-air and pay TV content as well as other content, are funded by advertisers. 67% are advertising funded – fortunately for Google 86% use ad schemes outside of Google’s Ad Choices scheme.
The segment has seen an increase of 61% in the last 12 months with up to 1.1 million unique users to one UK site alone.
More of these sites are in the US than any other single country.
BAE investigated where and how the content was hosted and found that both Live TV Gateway and P2P Community site tended to link to content on other sites or services rather than host the content.
These two segments use quite different architectures to achieve this:
Live TV Gateway sites deliver the content from one central server to which they link, whereas P2P Community sites offer links to the files which are served from a distributed array of servers or other users within the community.
Users of sites in the Live TV Gateway, P2P Community and Music Transaction segments were all more likely to have arrived directly without first visiting any other internet sites than was the case with the other three segments.
Overall advertising provides the most significant source of revenue for sites that infringe copyright online. A small proportion of sites are hosted in the UK with money flowing mostly overseas to countries including Russia, Sweden, the United States, and the Netherlands.