Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Piracy Your Rights Online

Suppressed Report Shows Pirates Are Good Customers 291

An anonymous reader writes "The movie and music industry think pirates are criminals and parasites who cost both industries billions of dollars in lost sales. In order to prove this fact a number of studies have been commissioned to help demonstrate the effect a pirate has on sales of entertainment. GfK Group is one of the largest market research companies in the world and is often used by the movie industry to carry out research and studies into piracy. Talking to a source within GfK who wished to remain anonymous, Telepolis found that a recent study looking at pirates and their purchasing activities found them to be almost the complete opposite of the criminal parasites the entertainment industry want them to be. The study states that it is much more typical for a pirate to download an illegal copy of a movie to try it before purchasing. They are also found to purchase more DVDs than the average consumer, and they visit the movie theater more, especially for opening weekend releases which typically cost more to attend."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Suppressed Report Shows Pirates Are Good Customers

Comments Filter:
  • Pirate? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pookemon ( 909195 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:28PM (#36829234) Homepage
    I guess it depends on which part of the piracy chain they are speaking too. Are they talking to the people who buy/borrow DVD/Blurays to rip and distribute them? The people that go to the latest release movies to video tape them? Sure, they are "good customers". Or are they talking to the people that download them from the forementioned "pirates" because they're sick of going to the movies to see something that costs a fortune, in an uncomfortable chair with no surround sound, half the picture off the screen and some annoying little shit kicking the back of their seat? Or perhaps they're talking about the kind of people that download them because they can't afford to buy the DVD, and rather than recording it off the TV they get a version off the net that is only different from the TV version because it doesn't have ads in it, though if they got the cable version it wouldn't have ads in it, so in reality there is actually no difference.
  • Correction (Score:5, Interesting)

    by igreaterthanu ( 1942456 ) * on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:30PM (#36829244)
    Did they correct for the amount of media consumed for each person? Of course someone who pirates 50% of all media they consume, yet consumes a large amount of media is going to purchase more than someone who consumes far less.
  • by Master Moose ( 1243274 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:33PM (#36829284) Homepage

    Likewise, many times when I have missed an episode of a TV show, I will download it.
    I always forego the tv companies online "Catch Up" service as the quality of the streams are crap. Yet this is seen as me being an evil pirate by those in the industry.

  • Re:Hardly Surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ironhandx ( 1762146 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:36PM (#36829314)

    I consume shitloads of media.

    If things were more reasonably priced, I'd probably buy everything I wanted. As it is I need to guarantee its not crap before I buy it.

    At $10 per DVD, I'd buy everything. At the $25+ per DVD that I have to pay for most things I end up downloading the stuff then buying copies when they go down into my price range.

    I have probably in excess of 1,000 movies and maybe 20 full tv series downloaded. Of those I own about 600 movies and 18 of the 20 tv series.

    So yes, I pirate, a lot. However at the same time I'm one of the best customers the media industry has.

  • Re:Correction (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:37PM (#36829326)

    And this matters... why?

    Someone who goes to see 1 movie/year, and purchases 1 DVD/year vs. someone who pirates 50 movies/year and goes to see 25/year and buys 25 DVDs/year. No matter how you correct for the person who consumes less, the "pirate" who downloads 50% illegally is 25 times more gross revenue for them.

  • Re:First to say (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kj_kabaje ( 1241696 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:38PM (#36829342)
    I believe that's called a lie of omission... still perjury in a court of law.
  • Some Notes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by brit74 ( 831798 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:43PM (#36829402)
    We know from other data that music sales ( and DVD/BlueRay sales (*see below) are down. When adjusted for inflation and population growth, Box office revenues are down around 15% compared to 10 years ago.

    It's also worth pointing out that saying, "pirates buy more than the average consumer" is not actually an argument for piracy, since pirates tend to be disproportionately from a class of people who were originally big fans. Thus, it's possible that "big fans" who start using piracy end up buying 1/2 as much as they used to, but still out-buy the "average consumer" who was never all that interested. (For example, I don't pirate and I own zero DVDs or BluRay disks, which makes it easy for pirates to buy more than me.)

    * "Total revenue from DVD, Blu-ray and digital sales and rentals of movies and television shows in the U.S. declined 3% to $18.8 billion in 2010, according to new data from industry trade organization Digital Entertainment Group. Although the drops, particularly of DVD sales, are worrisome for the entertainment industry, studio executives can at least take some comfort in the fact that the picture isn't worsening as quickly as it did in 2009, when total home entertainment revenue plunged 7.6%." []
  • This is nothing new (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @06:46PM (#36829440)

    A while back I came across a copy of Modern Recording magazine (this was a trade magazine aimed at people who worked in recording studios) from 1981 and there was an article about "piracy" of music. In those days there were no personal computers or internet. The villain, according to the record companies, was the cassette tape recorder. People were borrowing albums from their friends and making a copy on cassette tape. So the RIAA commissioned a study that they hoped to take to the government and get some sort of law passed to halt this terrible crime (much like the MPAA tried to stop the VCR).

    According ot the article, the RIAA study was shelved and never widely distributed because it revealed -- surprise -- that people who owned cassette tape decks bought an average of 75% more albums that people who didn't own any recording equipment.

  • Re:And... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tyr07 ( 2300912 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @07:02PM (#36829586) Homepage
    I 'played' mass effect before I purchased it, and it also garunteed me to buy the second one when it came out and I'm buying the third one. In my opinion, so far if someone can afford it and they actually enjoyed the game, they'll buy it. For the extra features, priestige of supporting the developer and online play. I'll admit when I was a child I had played a lot of games that I didn't purchase, because I had no money to do so with. Now a days I buy so many it's crazy, and even old ones I won't really play just for the nostalgia of it. I've SEEN all three original star wars, and I still bought a boxed set. You get the picture. I'd say it's safe to say a lot of pirates care more about content and quality, and refuse to crap money down the toliet on cheap gimmicks of no fun. I don't want to buy a game that takes 30 hours to complete and I get bored of it in the first hour.
  • Re:No big deal (Score:3, Interesting)

    by commisaro ( 1007549 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @07:14PM (#36829712) Homepage
    Forgive me, but I don't really understand the business model, though. If it's true that their own studies have shown that pirates are better customers, this would presumably indicate that allowing piracy would increase revenue. So if their goal is to maximize profit, why wouldn't they want to take this on board?
  • I live these studies (Score:3, Interesting)

    by slash-doubter ( 1093233 ) on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @07:17PM (#36829738)
    I never went to concerts or bought records until I started pirating music. I never bought textbooks for pleasure reading until I pirated textbooks. I never bought art creation programs, before pirating them all and finding the ones that suited me. I also never went sailing before I started pirating, but I don't think there is a correlation there. I wouldn't have to pirate if there was some sane trial and advertising didn't lie. As is, pirating is the only thing that allows me to make an informed use of my very limited financial resources. A disproportionate amount of which goes to the people I "stole" from.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 20, 2011 @07:17PM (#36829740)

    The industry needs to wake up and license these movies and televisions shows to anybody who wants to show them online and make it available in a non-hostile format. Wack a mole doesn't work terribly well and mostly just costs them money. It justifies the actions of pirates and let me be the one who says. I don't respect the copyright although I do respect peoples demand for money when they provide a service. That is to say I'll pay for the movies. I'll pay for the ridiculously expensive pop corn and soda. So long as I can afford it I have no issue here. I won't pay for content online generally speaking without good cause. There are avenues to generate revenue without charging and those whom do make it available have a crummy selection (yes- netflix, amazon prime, apple, and hulu). I can go to a pirate site and get a better selection of STREAMING content than if I go to a legit site. Not to mention I end up with multiple formats to chose from. Which does impact me. I'm not running MS Windows and I do care what the format is! I prefer freedom compatible formats.

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer