An interesting study was released that shows BitTorrent piracy may not have such a bad impact on box office sales. The University of Minnesota and Wellesley College indicated that BitTorrent piracy doesn’t have a significant impact on movie sales even though industry executives may feel otherwise.
The report says that U.S. consumers are likely to go to the theater to watch a movie, rather than download a low resolution ‘cam’ style quality copy of the movie online. The report shows however that ‘international’ consumers are more likely to download a low quality copy of a film online early, ‘because of a lack of viewing options overseas’.
The RIAA and MPAA are keen to show people that piracy really hurts the industry, but the research by the Wellesley College and University of Minnesota seems to prove otherwise.
The researchers said “We do not see evidence of elevated sales displacement in U.S. box office revenue following the adoption of BitTorrent, and we suggest that delayed legal availability of the content abroad may drive the losses to piracy, We find that longer release windows are associated with decreased box office returns, even after controlling for film and country fixed effects.”
They continued “In short, we do not see much evidence that piracy displaces U.S. box office sales in our data, although this result should be taken cautiously as the ‘experiment’ for examining US piracy is less clean than that for international piracy.”
It would appear that not many people are willing to watch a poor quality camera based copy of a new blockbuster film on a television at home when they could watch it on a big theater screen.
Kitguru says: We can’t imagine either the RIAA or MPAA will be impressed with the report and it is unlikely to relax their viewpoints on the matter.