Surprise Suprise: Brits Love Illegal Streaming While Sky And Virgin Don’t

People are engaging in illegal streaming in droves.

British people love streaming.

That explains why the UK government has kept itself busy in punishing pirates (by sending them to jail) and piracy sites along with stricter laws for online/offline piracy.

Recent reports in the media have actually put a number on the percentage of people living in Britain who engage in illegal streaming.

That number comes to about five million.

Which is quite a lot of a country with a total population of 65 million.

In other words, according to recent reports published in the media, about five million British people make use of streaming devices.

They do so regularly and stream TV content from streaming devices that are illegal.

Sometimes they use illegal internet services altogether.

The report we keep pointing out is actually a study that YouGov has published recently.

The YouGov study shows that about 5 million British people are using devices known as Kodi-enabled devices.

Some of the British people also use different Android apps, that are readily available, to stream illegal content from the internet.

Regardless, both Kodi devices and Android application are popular means of watching illegal content in Britain.

The Troubling Part

The authorities in the UK are understandably very concerned.

Especially the ones involved with providing streaming services.


Because, according to the report, hundreds of thousands of people in the UK, mostly pirates though, have canceled their authoritized services subscription packages.

And have moved on to consuming copyrighted content on the internet without paying a single dime.

The problem is made even worse by the ubiquity of internet access in the UK.

Of course, UK is not the only place on earth with such as cast network of internet service providers.

Most developed countries in the world provide their citizens with universal internet access.

But UK’s case is different.

UK’s primary audience is young and tech-savvy.

In other words, they fully understand how a little tinkering in the online world can really open up an infinite amount of opportunities as far as on-demand copyrighted content is concerned.

There are literally hundreds of ways to consume copyrighted content on the internet.

And the people in the Uk seem to be taking advantage of each one of them.

They are consuming copyrighted content and canceling their cable subscriptions.

This phenomenon is taking place across the country if that wasn’t clear enough already.

The Content Providers

More and more people don’t want to pay for their content anymore.

Most of the content providers on the internet can’t really pay for copyrighted content.

And hence have to provide their services for free.

The audience, of course, does not mind that one bit since they are the ones who don’t have to pay a single pound to consume copyrighted content that probably cost producers millions to get on the market.

To put it another way, most content providers on the internet use less than official means of transmitting and distributing content to consumers.

All indicators point to one thing:

People in the UK are turning towards illegal means of streaming content more and more each year.

As mentioned before, they aren’t necessarily consuming all this content the legal way.

To help Britons in their quest to watch copyrighted content without breaking the bank, new devices have emerged.

These are called Kodi-enabled devices.

Although the devices themselves are nothing new.

But they do increase the ease of access to copyrighted content for free.

The devices themselves don’t cost much either.

Apart from Kodi-enabled devices, there are others as well that allow users to consume copyrighted content.

But the most popular software to watch copyrighted content on any given device is without a doubt Kodi.

And hence developers have come up with Kodi-enabled devices to profit from the market demand.

Does Kodi Mean Illegal Streaming?

People who haven’t used Kodi devices are planning to in the very near future according to the study.


In fact, officially Kodi is against illegal streaming.

Kodi is simple an open-source media player that can be used to stream any type of content.

Now, it is up to the user if he/she wants to view copyrighted content or free content which may or may not be of the highest quality.

Simply put, Kodi is a relatively simple media player that can be augmented with Kodi -add-ons and hence supercharge opportunities for people to dive into the world of infinite pirated content and all the experiences that come with that.

Not all users are using Kodi devices to view copyrighted content though.

Some are using other methods.

Other methods such as customer Android applications.

We’re talking about applications such as Mobdro, Showbox, and others like Terrarium TV.

Each of these Android applications is fully capable of streaming premium copyrighted movies along with TV shows and live sports.

As mentioned before, the user does not have to pay anything in the whole process.

The only cost the end-user has to bear is the one that comes when buying the Kodi-enabled device.

If one is using the Android applications method, then even that Kodi device cost isn’t necessary.

Besides, low cost is the single biggest reasons why the popularity of these illegal streaming devices has skyrocketed.

And perhaps this is also why this issue has caught the attention of organizations such as YouGov.

Plenty of other organizations have also started to conduct market research on how these illegal streaming devices are used and their penetration in the market.

YouGov’s study though, focuses mainly on the habits of people living in Britain and how they consume content.

YouGov Has Come To A Conclusion

YouGov has come to the conclusion that services such as Kodi-enabled devices and all the above mentioned Android applications pose a great threat to all official TV and otherwise, subscription services along with brands that are located in the UK.

As indicated earlier, the company carried out a survey named “Illegal Streaming” and according to it, about five million people in the Uk alone are consuming content via pirated streaming devices and services.

Moreover, the YouGov report says that almost ten percent of the people living in the UK who are considered to be adults (about five million people) currently access copyrighted content through custom Kodi devices called Kodi boxes.

This “five million” section of the population also has access to other types of devices such as modified Amazon Fire TV sticks along with illegal streaming Android applications.

As mentioned before, these streaming Android applications are fully compatible with most smartphones and even tablets.

Big Companies Are Rightly Worried

We’ve mentioned the part about people owning illegal devices and streaming applications in the UK.

What we haven’t mentioned is the part that has most of the companies in the UK suffering from depression and probably anxiety too.

That’s right, companies such as Virgin, BT, and Sky are all seriously thinking hard about the repercussions this YouGov report could have.

Since these companies are not only internet service providers but also the primary content providers too, they are likely to suffer the greatest because of these Kodi devices and pirates using them.

Consumers who pirate copyrighted content and use Kodi-enabled devices to consume copyrighted content are hurting these companies in an another way:

They are turning away from paid, and so-called, premium content services.

The YouGov study has revealed that a sizeable one out of every seventh person who streams illegal content and pirates stuff has said that they have canceled at least one paid subscription service solely because they can access that same content through unauthorized platforms.

Other Points TO be Noted According To Researchers

Kodi streaming has skyrocketed in the UK and has made the likes of Sky and Virgin worried.

YouGov market researchers have also pointed out that the actual percentage drop in authorized subscriptions is likely to be lower.


Because there are always discrepancies between individuals and households.

Regardless, the impact of the canceled subscriptions and the numbers involved will remain huge.

Big companies that provide internet services, as well as content, will currently have to make themselves comfortable with one fact:

People are moving towards illegal streaming more and more.

But for now, some of the pirates are also keeping their paid subscriptions.

IN fact, the study says, there is a significant portion of people in the UK who have both pirate setups as well as legal subscriptions to copyrighted content.

As far as the future is concerned, things don’t look that bright.


Because according to the same YouGov report, about 31 percent, which is almost one-third of the total pirates, said that it is likely that they will cancel their official services subscriptions within the next year.

That gives big companies like Sky and Virgin along with BT, about twelve months to stop the wave of Kodi-enabled devices and related Android applications.

The Living Room Streaming Setups Are Rising

And their rise means the downfall of big companies like Sky and Virgin.

There is no doubt about the fact that illegal streaming is hurting their overall revenues.

But can do anything about it?

Especially given the fact that the rapid proliferation of these Kodi-enabled devices and unofficial streaming application is not due to some mass marketing techniques or huge advertising budgets?

Indeed, Kodi devices have spread across the UK not by a big marketing scheme or strategy but through simple word of mouth.

And perhaps this was the only way Kodi devices could have expanded their reach.

People behind these devices don’t exactly have a budget for marketing purposes it turns out.

Of course, word of mouth marketing would do little if Kodi devices weren’t offering the kind of content that they offer.

People in the UK use Kodi devices not because they offer high-quality content or are free.

They use these devices because they offer high-quality content AND do so for free.

And we have already mentioned that the range of content available on Kodi is just staggering.

NO single channel can even come close to the range of content that Kodi offers.

And it’s not because Kodi is a great content producer.

It’s just how the system works.

The more content platforms belonging to companies such as Sky and Virgin put out, the more it gets aggregated in Kodi through Kodi add-ons and Kodi enabled devices.

On a side note, in order to get every feature and addon possible on kodi and to not get sued if you accidentally watch something pirated, you need a VPN. You can find the 5 best VPN’s for Kodi here.

Pirates To The Rescue.

The YouGov report also says that almost six out of ten pirates aid that they would happily promote Kodi devices and the concept of availability of copyrighted content for free to their network of family and friends.

Needless to say, if the expected (according to the YouGov report that is) increase in the use of illegal streaming devices does happen, a large number of people will go into piracy mode.

Consequently, the impact of piracy and illegal streaming could reach astronomical levels.

According to the market research company, about  2.6 million people who aren’t pirates (yet), say that they are indeed preparing themselves to consume content via illegal streaming platforms sometime in the future.

Moreover, about 400,000 have predicted that they will get involved with the illegal streaming scene inside the next three months if not earlier.

The Next Huge Problem

So many people going the illegal streaming route is perhaps not as surprising as the fact that almost 90 percent of these non-pirate 2.6 million people own a license to an official subscription-based content service.

That is what the YouGov report has revealed.

Additionally, the YouGov report also says that about half of these non-pirate soon-to-become-pirate people says that they are likely to cancel their official subscriptions well within a year of acquiring an illegal streaming device.

Meanwhile In the US…

The situation in the United States of America isn’t positive either.

Recent reports in the media have revealed that a mammoth 50 percent of all millennials in the country say that they regularly consume copyrighted content such as movies and TV shows through pirates streaming services and sources.

Of course, the number of people doing the same in nowhere near that high.

But that doesn’t mean they aren’t significant enough.

The same YouGov study also says that people who are aged between 18 and 34 make up about 37 percent of the pirates.

In numbers, that amounts to about 1.8 million British people.

Which is a lot.

The YouGov survey didn’t limit itself to just numbers though.

It also tried to get a sense of people’s attitude towards illegal streaming and illegal streaming devices.

No one will be shocked to know that most people in the survey think that the price of original and genuine official products was very high.

And that it justified them using alternatives that are considered to be illegal and perhaps illicit.

Most of the people, especially from the US, don’t know that people in the UK have it tough when it comes to subscription services.

Most of the time they have to buy bundled packages.

This means that they have to spend huge sums of money on channels that they never watch.

Combine that with the fact that there are cheaper options available and it might make sense why these people are moving towards illegal streaming.

And perhaps that’s why these people feel that rich content providers deserve what is coming to them.

That is, shortage of people who are willing to pay through the roof for channels they won’t watch.


Zohair A. Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.

2 thoughts on “Surprise Suprise: Brits Love Illegal Streaming While Sky And Virgin Don’t”

  1. Dec 5, 2017 Cox Communications in US have admitted to ILLEGALLY going into their own customers accounts and are threatening to shut off their service if they use shoebox or other free streaming media players. Any lawyers going to sue them? Taking big business to Court would generate a lot of publicity for a young lawyer.

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