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And they blame it all on Piracy...

, posted: 28-Feb-2009 22:19

I'm sorry, it's time for me to vent about the whining from the entertainment industry and blaming their declining revenue on piracy.

This has, of course, been said before by better people than I, but I've decided to say my bit and get it out of my system.

The entertainment industry, especially the movie industry, has been blaming their large drops in revenue on piracy and quantifyng this value in the billions.

The first chunk of money a movie house makes off a film is through ticket sales - if the movie's really good Joe Public and his wife will go and see it on the big screen and put up with $15-$18 per ticket plus $20 popcorn and drinks. If it's a movie that doesn't need to be seen on the big screen (ie no super-wonderful special affects), then Joe Public (in this case me!) will wait until the DVD is available at the Warehouse for $18 and buy it there and take it home to watch.  Thus saving $15-18 on my Wife's ticket and $20 on overpriced popcorn and overly-sweet postmix lemonade. Or if the movie's possibly going to be crappy, hire it for $5 and watch it at home as well.

According to the movie industry, that $35 ($48 if I hired it) lost to the theatre is directly related to INTERNET PIRACY. Not because the consumer made an educated choice to *NOT* see it at the theatre.

The second chunk of money the movie industry makes from a film is from DVD/BD sales - well here, yes, they will lose out to illegal internet distribution of their content.  However, average Joe Public (not necessarily me) doesn't know how to download an AVI off the internet and play it on their TV - all the kerfuffle about PirateBay etc in the media is only going to advertise to Joe Public that this is possible, thus making that situation worse.

However, any movie collector like myself likes to have pretty & authentic DVD covers in his shelves - you don't get those when downloading movies! Average Joe Public likes to play by the rules most of the time and *will* spend his/her hard earned dollars buying media from the entertainment industry as long as the price is right. Ramp up the price too much and watch the discretionary spend drop off accordingly. And of course, this drop off is because of piracy, not because the price is too expensive.

Look at iTunes for example - the price is right and iPeople spend enormous amounts of money buying music and video from Apple.

The switch to digital TV in New Zealand is going to have an impact on DVD sales of television series & older movies - as people find that they can keep their Outrageous Fortune/Desperate Housewives etc on their MySky/DVR/PVR/whatever in broadcast DVD quality for as long as they like why will they want to buy the DVD to watch later? They already have it.

Their not buying the DVD will of course be attributed to piracy somehow by the industry.

In summary, all I can say is that yes, there are those who are more than happy to download content off the internet and think nothing of doing so.  However, they are the few compared to the many who do go out and buy their content - but only the content that they think is worthwhile and appropriately priced.

Blaming the billions of lost revenue on the comparitive few is idiotic when if the industry took a closer look at their pricing schemes they'd start to see why Joe and his wife aren't interested in wasting their money on overpriced faff.


I feel better now.

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Comment by Dratsab, on 1-Mar-2009 15:06

Spot on.

I hardly ever go to the movies anymore, because they generally never live up to the hype - especially horror type movies, which are what I really like.

Most of my movie watching follows the "educated" line you allude to - $1 Mondays (non new release) and half-price Tuesdays (all movies) at the local rental store are what I go for.

Comment by paradoxsm, on 1-Mar-2009 23:15

I was discussing this today, if they made movies available for easy any-browser internet-site download for a modest fee of about $5 and freed from DRM then hardly anyone would bother with illegal downloads as the convenience of being able to simply grab it on-demand and keep it would be well worth the $5.

I have to go to the hassle of ripping and re-burning all my DVD's to get around the Macrovision and forced copyright notices which really annoys the hell out of me as I just want to put in a disc and sit back as I do with my music CD's.

I had to run out this evening and buy a CD after trying to get the song legally online turned into big-custard of both wrong songs to the description and 0 byte songs (Shitty remix as the vended product even though full description said it was that song from that album "Presets - Are you the one")  (0 bytes- the Timbaland rap one which i rapidshared in the end as I needed no more than a 10 second snippet).

(Vodafone Music) BAD experience.

I LOVE the local video shop's $1 everthing Mondays :-)

Comment by grant_k, on 2-Mar-2009 10:31

I haven't bought any CDs for quite some time, instead preferring to buy single tracks or the odd complete album by downloading from DigiRAMA or Amazon.

Was in Borders over the weekend and on impulse, bought a couple of CDs, just 'coz they were there on the shelf and I'd been looking out for them on DigiRAMA but not seen them yet.

One of the CDs is good, but the other has reminded me in no uncertain terms of the reason why I don't buy CDs anymore:

-  Only 3 or 4 tracks out of 16 are any good (the ones I had heard on the radio) and the others are rubbish/album-fillers

The music industry have been ripping us off like this for decades and it's only recently -- with the advent of pay per track music purchase -- that we, the consumer, have been able to avoid getting shafted on most CD purchases.

And of course, the music industry will put that decrease in sales down to piracy as well

Comment by AndrewTD, on 2-Mar-2009 14:56

For me, an interesting question is: "just how many people donwload pirated music/movies here in NZ now"

You suggest it is probably a minority that download pirated copies. I think that we have no idea of actual numbers. Many people I know say they download / copy pirated content (much to my dismay). But I don't know how many actually do.
I fear that it is a large number of titles that get pirated here in NZ.

Comment by stevo_the_pirate, on 2-Mar-2009 16:30

I am a prolific downloader of music/ TV/ movies and software... to the tune of around 50-60GB/ month.  I can't even remember the last time I spent any money on any of these. 

Yo ho ho & a bottle of rum!

Comment by John, on 10-Feb-2010 09:08

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