Reports show that pirate websites make a fortune out of advertising. The Digital Citizens Alliance is said to have released a detailed report emphasising how much piracy websites are making in ad revenue.
The report is named “Good Money Gone Bad: Digital Thieves and the Hijacking of the Online Ad Business” and states that pirate websites having TV shows, music, movies, etc. as content made a staggering $227 million in annual ad revenue in 2013.
The number of ad positions, page views and estimates of the different ad-rates were used to generate the report’s statistics and the websites were divided into three sizes based on the number of unique visitors per month, which are ‘Small’ ( lower than 1 million), ‘Medium’ (between 1 and 5 million) and ‘Large’ (over 5 million). It is also said that sampled websites are the ones for which Google received 25 or more DMCA takedown requests during the third quarter of 2013.
The statistics inside the report were taken from 596 websites, out of which 30 were the largest sites and the top torrent sites which made profits margins of around $6 million a year. Also, profit margins up to 94.1 percent were made by torrent sites, taking up less than 1/4 of the total sample and half of the total ad revenue.
The reports states that a large part of the total ad revenue comes from premium brands like McDonalds, Ford, Dell, Amazon, and others, brands that are not aware of this themselves, but the DCA states that this could damage their reputation.
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