Ad Industry Efforts Keep the Pirates at Bay

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The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), a group of advertisers and agencies formed to address ad supported piracy, malware, and fraud, released its year-long study this week on the impact of the ad industry’s initiatives against internet piracy. Since 2014, TAG created various initiatives to combat digital piracy such as the “Certified Against Piracy” Seal program, the TAG registry of trusted advertising partners, and the TAG anti-piracy pledge.

The TAG study found that the ad industry’s current anti-piracy practices reduced ad revenues earned by pirate site operators between 48 to 61 percent. The study also found that though digital ad revenues related to infringed content totaled an estimate of $111 million, efforts by the ad industry prevented these sites from generating an additional $102-$177 million in revenue.

Reducing ad revenue generated by pirate sites serves the interests of both the advertising industry and of creators/content owners. For advertisers, combating the appearance of their ads on such sites protects brands from becoming tools for furthering criminal activities, fraud, and malware. Additionally, these efforts help the ad industry recover the estimated $2.4 billion it loses due to digital piracy. For creators/content owners, cutting off the income stream for pirate sites means shutting these sites down and ending the digital theft of content that takes time, money, and energy to create.

The Copyright Alliance applauds the steps taken by the advertising industry to combat online piracy and congratulates the success of such efforts. We hope that these kinds of voluntary industry initiatives will continue to reduce digital piracy to create a thriving digital environment for advertisers and creators/content owners alike. The full TAG study is available for you to read.

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