Online Counterfeit Sales Set To Cost Businesses Billions This Year

A sampling of only 22 brands has revealed that websites offering pirated digital content and counterfeit goods generate more than 53 billion visits per year, according to a new study released by MarkMonitor. The company, a leader in enterprise brand protection, said in its report that sites offering pirated digital content draw the lion’s share of the 53 billion annual visits, while sites selling counterfeit goods, including prescription drugs and luxury goods, generate more than 92 million visits per year.

“In the online world, unlike the physical world, supply and demand are virtually limitless so it is imperative to understand both online distribution channels as well as digital promotional vehicles in order to develop effective mitigation strategies,” said Frederick Felman, CMO of MarkMonitor, in a statement. “Examining traffic patterns and geographic information are vital in identifying and prioritizing enforcement actions rather than playing ‘whack-a-mole’ with egregious offenders.”

MarkMonitor conducted the study during 2010 using a sample of 22 brands from product categories including prescription drugs, luxury goods, music, films and athletic gear. Using its own patented technology, the company ran automated scans which identified more than 10,000 suspicious sites that were filtered further to include only dedicated e-commerce and digital content delivery sites which were then ranked by traffic using publicly available Alexa data. MarkMonitor experts examined the resulting data set to determine whether sites met strict criteria for pirated digital content or sales of counterfeit goods.

For a deeper look at the report, click HERE.