Uncharted waters: 44% of Asian consumers admit to piracy for streaming content

Overloaded with subscriptions and unsure of costs, consumers ditch streaming services in favor of piracy

CAMBRIDGE, England, Oct. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Faced with a cost-of-living crunch, half of Asian consumers (59%) say they can no longer afford all of their subscription services. As a result, 44% now access content via illegal piracy sites. That’s according to a new Bango study, exploring subscription trends and the rise of Super Bundling in Asia.

Bango’s study incorporates data from over 6,000 consumers currently paying for subscription services across India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

It found that almost a third (29%) of Asian consumers have 5 or more subscriptions. In regions such as Thailand, however, 63% of consumers say they can no longer afford the subscriptions they want, a figure that rises as high as 79% in Malaysia.

Subscription squeeze

To better keep track of costs, Asian subscribers are looking to manage all of their current subscriptions (streaming, gaming, fitness and more) in one single platform, app, or monthly bill. In fact, the vast majority (91%) believe that having this single platform would help them to better manage their monthly household expenses.

While many subscribers are struggling to afford all the content they want, Bango’s research also highlights a growing frustration managing several different subscription services. 59% are “annoyed” that they can’t manage all of their subscriptions in one place, while a quarter struggle to renew contracts across their various accounts. This is further driving demand for a single ‘Super Bundling’ content hub.

Commenting on this trend, Anil Malhotra, Co-founder at Bango said, “With escalating household expenses and a surge of new entrants in the streaming market, content providers need to ensure they offer subscribers value for money. If they don’t, our data indicates that many consumers will resort to piracy instead.

“Telcos in the region have a major role to play, by helping subscribers make sense of their subscription commitments. By offering these services through a Super Bundling subscriptions hub, delivered through existing telco billing relationships, telcos and their content partners can take the wind out of the sails of this growing trend towards piracy.”

The demand for Super Bundling

A centralized hub for subscription services would enable simpler, more flexible management which ultimately works to disincentivise piracy. The demand for this type of consolidation is clear across Southeast Asia and India — 93% of consumers want one place to manage subscriptions.

If Super Bundling were available, the data suggests it would increase customer retention and loyalty for telcos, with 89% spending more time using subscriptions, and 81% signing up for more subscriptions. 95% of respondents also say they would feel more loyal to brands offering bundled content hubs, while 66% would even switch telco providers to gain access, underscoring the potential competitive advantage.

“This is where Bango comes in,” Malhotra says. “The Bango Digital Vending Machine makes it simple for telcos to aggregate and bundle subscriptions into a single user-friendly experience. Super Bundling subscriptions all in one place boosts customer satisfaction, making it simple for content providers and telcos to tap into this opportunity.”

To view Bango’s research data, read the full study here.