Almost 5 million Brits watch illegal pirate streaming services online, according to a YouGov study.
The report says just shy of 10 per cent of the adult UK population watches TV and films online illegally, suggesting that piracy poses a major threat to subscription TV services like Sky and Netflix.
Around one in seven users of pay-TV platforms (about 17 per cent) has cancelled at least one of their legal TV services, according to the study. And of those who use pirate streaming platforms and also pay for TV services, almost a third (31 per cent) say they plan to cancel their legal subscriptions within the next 12 months, which suggests the problem will only get worse.
Another 400,000 people are expected to start using these pirated services like 'fully-loaded' Kodi boxes and chipped Amazon Fire TV Sticks within the next three months.
The problem is particularly bad among the young. 18-34-year-olds make up 37 per cent of users (about 1.8 million people). The study warns that young people could grow up being used to not paying for TV content, which would set a dangerous precedent.
This comes on the heels of another study that found that millennials were less likely to pay for TV services than older viewers. The study – conducted by SMG Insight for the BT Sport Industry Awards – found that 54 per cent of those aged 18-24 had watched illegal streams of live sports.