Increased traffic on pirate sites with the help of Manga Boom * TorrentFreak

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Piracy is on the rise. New data shared by tracking company MUSO shows that the number of visits to pirate sites has increased by almost 30% compared to last year. The publishing category is experiencing particularly difficult growth, mainly driven by manga piracy. The United States continues to host the most pirates in absolute numbers.

Despite the increasing availability of legal options, online piracy remains rampant. Every day, pirate sites and services are used by millions of people around the world.

New data released by UK piracy tracking firm MUSO shows that pirate sites remain highly relevant. And people have no trouble finding them either.

In fact, traffic to these sites is booming. During the first quarter of 2022, visits to pirate sites increased by more than 29% compared to the previous year, which represents a staggering 52.5 billion visits.

Nearly half of this traffic (48%) is devoted to television-related content. The publishing category takes second place with 27%, followed by the film (12%), music (7%) and software (6%) categories.

The increase in traffic is noticeable in all types of piracy, but the publishing category stands out. Compared to the first quarter of 2021, the number of visits in this category has increased explosively. Software piracy is lagging behind, but the category continues to grow.

Increase in Q1 2022 compared to Q1 2021 (Muso.com)

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The strong growth in the publishing category is largely driven by manga, comics or graphic novels from Japan. Some of the pirate sites dedicated to this “niche”, such as Manganato.com, attract well over 100 million “visits” per month. It’s more than iconic pirate sites such as The Pirate Bay and Fmovies.to.

America first

The United States is the country that sends the most visitors to pirate sites. With well over 5.7 billion “hits” in the first three months of the year, the United States accounts for over 10% of all piracy traffic. With a 39% increase over last year, hacker audience growth is outpacing the global average.

Russia and India follow at a respectable distance with just over 3 billion visits to pirate sites, followed by China and France with 1.8 and 1.7 billion visits respectively.

Top pirate countries (Muso.com)

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There is no single explanation for the apparent boom in piracy. However, MUSO sees the upward trend as an alarming signal and expects “streaming wars” and growing subscription fatigue to play a role.

“The continued and marked increase in pirate visits is alarming reading for the entertainment industries,” notes MUSO.

“MUSO expects this trend to continue, especially in the current climate of subscription wars for SVoD platforms, combined with economic pressure and rapidly growing global inflation.”

With more and more subscription services and the fragmentation of the entertainment industry, the traffic from pirate sites is not expected to evaporate any time soon. Time will tell if we will see yet another increase in traffic next year.