United Media has become a member of the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) to combat piracy in Europe.
United Media, the media arm of United Group, is a leading media company in Southeast Europe, broadcasting more than 50 channels on several platforms.
In its view, local and international cooperation is key to tackling piracy in the Southeast Europe region, where it has seen a constant rise of illegal streaming operations over the last five years. In Greece, for example, certain estimates show more than 750,000 users of subscription-based illegal streaming, and just one recently shut down local streaming website had about 2.1 million visits in the last three months.
According to Charles Rivkin, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association and chairman of ACE, “ACE is proud to welcome United Media as the latest media company to join our rapidly growing coalition and support our global mission to combat illegal piracy operations.
“With each new member, ACE’s network grows stronger and better equipped to eradicate piracy and protect the creative economy”.
United Media CEO Aleksandra Subotic added: “United Media’s strategic determinant is to create quality and attractive content. We invest in production, people, technology, we believe in our ideas, and it is our duty to do everything in our power to ensure copyright and legal operations of the entire market. We believe that ACE is the perfect partner in this mission, and we are looking forward to working together. We are confident that we will strengthen the creative economy with our joint efforts”.
ACE has seen its membership base skyrocket this year and the coalition is now comprised of 43 members around the world, including United Media, with more set to join in the coming weeks.
ACE is supported by a network of experts operating in high-tech investigations and law enforcement, in partnership with local governments and international organisations like Interpol and Europol, to take on the full supply chain of pirated content.
Piracy of digitally streamed content, which accounts for 80% of overall piracy, puts innovation, creativity and investment at risk and threatens creators, innovators and consumers alike. According to the Global Innovation Policy Centre, piracy amounts to between $29.2 billion and $71 billion annually in lost domestic revenues. Additionally, consumers are harmed when accessing illegal content – one-third of pirate sites target consumers with malware that can lead to a range of problems, including identify theft and financial loss, according to a report by Digital Citizens Alliance.
ACE was founded in 2017 by the MPA and many of the world’s leading media and technology companies to combine efforts and resources to jointly combat the threat and prevalence of online piracy. ACE’s governing board is comprised of the MPA’s six members – Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount, Sony Pictures, and Warner Bros. – as well as Amazon and Apple TV+. Since its creation, ACE has successfully led or participated in thousands of global enforcement actions, averaging several dozens of actions a month against illegal streaming services and sources of unauthorised content and their operators.