The Intellectual Property Office-commissioned report claims that 52% of internet users now use streaming services to consumer content online and notes there has been a “small but significant” drop in online piracy.
The stats, which are based on Kantar Media’s Online Copyright Infringement Tracker, reported that people consuming content from exclusively legal sources has risen to 44% – a 3% increase since the end of 2015.
At the same time, downloading content is becoming “comparatively less popular” with 39% of people consuming content in this way.
Despite this, Kantar said that one in 20 internet users are exclusively consuming illegal content and that in the past three months TV shows and films were illegally accessed more than 50 million times.
“I am extremely pleased to see that there has been a decline in infringement and that consumers appear to be turning towards legitimate streaming en masse. There is, however, more to do,” said Baroness Neville-Rolfe, minister for intellectual property.
“This government is committed to fighting against IP theft in all its forms and supporting the hard work of our creative industries. I am pleased that we are joining forces internationally to improve our knowledge of online infringement.”
The Intellectual Property Office is the official UK government body responsible for intellectual property rights including patents, designs, trademarks and copyright.