Canadians Prefer Kodi Over BitTorrent For Pirated Content

By Nitish Singh / April 6, 2018

Kodi, a user-friendly software usually installed on TV set-top boxes powered by Android OS is now the preferred choice of Canadians for consuming pirated content like TV shows and movies, as opposed to their previous inclination towards BitTorrent.

Sandvine, a Waterloo, Ont.-based network management company, analyzed a set of anonymized data encompassing over a hundred thousand Canadian households. Their findings reveal that one in every ten households owns a device which runs Kodi. Sandvine is estimating that around 7% of all the studied Canadian houses are using Kodi to access pirated content whereas use of BitTorrent has declined down to 1.6% as noted last September. Back in 2014, the peer-to-peer file sharing protocol accounted for as much as 15% of all daily traffic.

Now, besides Kodi, there are other forms of accessing pirated content which comes with a nominal monthly subscription and grants access to thousands of live TV channels. According to Sandvine, 8% of Canadian households are likely engaged in this market.

canadians watching Kodi

Image Courtesy of Toronto Star

The manager of media and industry relations for Sandvine, Dan Deeth is of the opinion that most people have a clear conception of what they are participating in when they purchase a streaming box labeled with a “free TV for life” offer. However Deeth also states, “the average consumer might not know but they’re probably fooling themselves or turning a blind eye, because to get those services legitimately you’d be paying over $100 a month to get 1,000 channels — all the pay-per-views, all the sports channels, all the premium HBO's — from a legitimate source.

Sandvine’s report further sights that most of the traffic from live TV streams are from international content which is popular in the urban areas where there are immigrant communities. Deeth explains, “We think they’re accessing content that maybe they can’t get as much here. Bell and Rogers obviously offer international packages, but there might be five or 10 channels, not 50 or 100. The international aspect is a big driver of who is using these services.”

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