AMSTERDAM: Consumers in Australia and parts of Asia are far more likely to watch pirated TV content than their counterparts in the UK and the US, a global survey of viewing preferences in six markets has discovered.

The survey, conducted in May and June by research firms YouGov and Populus on behalf of Irdeto, the revenue assurance and media protection group, also confirmed that younger consumers are more open to illegal downloads.

Based on the responses of 4,721 adults in the US, UK, Australia, India, Indonesia and Singapore, the study found the great majority of American (70%) and British (72%) consumers are unlikely to watch pirated content.

By contrast, just 40% of consumers in Australia and India agree they're unlikely or extremely unlikely to do the same – a proportion that falls still further among Singaporeans (31%) and Indonesians (9%).

Price and the availability of legal content emerged as the two main drivers for this behaviour, suggesting that there is less piracy in markets where more quality content is available.

Over a quarter of Australians (26%) and almost one-third of Singaporeans (31%) cited the lack of available legal content as the main reason for watching pirated copies, while price was the main issue for consumers in India (29%) and Indonesia (36%).

"This is a clear message to operators to provide high quality content at the right price," said Bengt Jonsson, vice president APAC at Irdeto. "This could be a differentiator to remain competitive in a diverse region like Asia-Pac," he added.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey found younger consumers to be more willing to watch pirated content.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of 18-24 year olds in the UK and over half (54%) of 18-34 year olds in the US admit to this activity, the report found.

Elsewhere, Irdeto found that TV remains the most popular medium for watching sport in the UK and the US.

Over half (53%) of UK consumers mostly watch sports on TV at home, although 5% mostly use a laptop or desktop and 2% access sport via a mobile device. Likewise, 50% of US consumers watch sports at home on TV while 49% prefer to watch it live.

Data sourced from Irdeto; additional content by Warc staff