The only thing more terrifying than clowns this Halloween is piracy!

Halloween is just around the corner. And while some of us are stocking up on candy and finding the best costume, for others the holiday is more about tricking than treating. The films and TV shows that people are illegally downloading will spook you.

The film industry has long suffered from the effects of piracy and our research has found that horror movies are very popular, especially this time of year.

Irdeto investigated piracy trends in the US for some of the most popular movies & TV shows. The investigations found that illegal peer-to-peer downloads in October were 40% higher than in November.

Our research also found that there were 653,260 search visits to piracy sites by consumers interested in viewing horror content – 25 times higher than search visits to legal sites. We also found clear spikes in the level of activity at P2P pirate sites during the month of October across horror genres.

Consumers Should Be Scared

While our investigations clearly point to consumers looking to get their Halloween fix through illegal means, the film or TV show they are watching may not be the only scare coming their way. A majority of pirated content often includes malware or other viruses. These scary bugs could be executed to launch ransomware attacks on the device being used to consume pirated content or could be used to steal the consumer’s personal information. In addition, many pirate sites are operated by criminal organizations. As a result, any consumer who downloads this illegal content could inadvertently help support other criminal activities.

By obtaining content through legal providers, consumers get their Halloween fix and prevent any unwanted tricks.

Is It All Spooky Though?

As scary as this sounds, this piracy data can help pay TV and over-the-top operators to understand the increased demand for streaming horror content and where to expand the legal network to meet that seasonal demand.

Pirates are resourceful and constantly innovating. Covert watermarking combined with expert piracy detection and enforcement is a great way for operators to stay one step ahead.

Interested in more scares? Check out additional data on Halloween piracy trends here: