91% of Russians would rather pirate than pay for content, survey shows

piracy, russia, legal content
Credit: Tribalium/Shutterstock

Russians have no qualms with pirated games, software, movies, TV shows, and music, a new survey reveals.

Only 9 percent of Russian netizens prefer sticking to exclusively legal content, according to data from security firm ESET reviewed by TorrentFreak. While the number seemingly suggests that the remaining 91 percent resort to piracy, the survey makes no mention of “dual buyers” — people who pirate content, but also occasionally pay for it.

Indeed, studies have previously shown that some pirates often convert to legitimate paying customers. So piracy doesn’t always end up affecting sales negatively, from that point of view at least.

The survey shows that games are most popular among pirates, with 52 percent admitting to cracking games, followed by 43 percent who obtain movies and TV shows illegally, and 34 percent who get their music from unlicensed sources.

Additionally, 19 percent of respondents said they’ve previously cracked software, while 14 percent admitted to downloading ebooks from illegitimate platforms.

The most common reason driving people to piracy is high costs of online content, with 75 percent of respondents indicating they’ve resorted to illegal downloads to save money. Interestingly, 25 percent refuse to pay for content based on “ideological grounds.” Another 16 percent of respondents claimed that payment systems used by legal providers are simply “inconvenient.”

As someone who grew up in a poor Eastern European country (where everyone runs the latest version of Windows but nobody has ever paid for it), the results certainly ring true.

The study, which ESET conducted in September, is based on the responses of 2,000 people who were asked about the way they consume content on the internet.

Considering that another survey from two years ago found that most Russians don’t even realize pirating is illegal, the new findings aren’t surprising.

Read next: KPMG survey reveals blockchain tokens might only be good for