Accessing restricted entertainment content was the main motivating factor for users surveyed in Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
An estimated 25% and 29% of internet users in the UAE and Saudi Arabia respectively use VPNs, as per the latest worldwide VPN usage report by GlobalWebIndex. Emerging markets dominate VPN usage as per the study. At 38% each, Indonesia and India top the list of 10 markets accounting for the highest incidence of VPN usage.
In the regional analysis of VPN usage, the MENA region at 19% of internet users comes third after APAC at 30% and Latin America at 23%, with Europe and North America accounting for 17% apiece. Accessing restricted entertainment content was the main motivating factor for users surveyed in Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The study indicated that one in four internet users have used VPN last month and a whopping 77% are buying digital content each month belying the notion of piracy driving VPN usage.
While preserving anonymity is important for North American VPN users, the study confirms that accessing geo-restricted entertainment content continues to be the number one motivation for VPN users in all other regions. From a regional perspective, its in APAC where this is most pronounced, according to the study with as many as 68% of the consumers in Vietnam saying [entertainment content] is a key motivation. This trend is visible in Latin America and the MENA region, where users are also using them as a route to media that is not officially available in their country yet like the U.S. Netflix content store, for example.
In Europe and North America, anonymity while browsing is driving usage among VPN users with an estimated 44% of users in Germany doing so due to these concerns.
With 49% using VPNs mainly to bypass geo-restrictions on content, this remains a huge issue for studios, sports leagues, rights-holders and premium broadcasters who rely on territory-based licensing to fund their productions and operations, stated GeoGuard CEO David Briggs.
While highlighting his company’s recent integration with Akamai CDN as a way to implement effective VPN and DNS proxy detection and blocking, he added: The VPN problem is not going away and continues to erode the value of content for studios, sports leagues and premium broadcasters. Content producers and broadcasters rely on territorial-based licensing for their revenues and by not enforcing geo-restrictions, they put the ongoing viability of their business at risk.