Warner Bros. Finally Realizes That 'Pirates' Are Underserved Customers

from the took-you-this-long? dept

We've discussed in the past just how backwards Warner Bros. has been at times in responding to "piracy." So it's a bit amusing that many, many, many years after plenty of us have been pointing this out (and have been told directly by folks at Warner Bros. that we're "full of it") that the company is finally recognizing that those who infringe are really just underserved customers, whom they didn't give a good reason to buy:
Pirates Make Purchases: Few subsist on copyright infringement alone; typical pirates steal in addition to making legitimate entertainment purchases like boxoffice, DVD and even online transactions. Even the most diehard pirates spend some money, though less than more casual infringers. "One of the main things we're doing is looking at why they do things legitimately on certain products and not on others," said [WB's director of business intelligence, Ben] Karakunnel.
Apparently, they just started looking at this data only 18 months ago. Frankly, the fact that they weren't looking at that data seven or eight years ago suggests a dysfunctional management team. What's really silly, of course, is that plenty of folks have made this exact point to people at Warner Bros. and elsewhere for years, and were told that we were just "defending pirates."

Another thing they realized was that in foreign markets, a lot of unauthorized copies are because WB didn't make translated/subtitled versions available quickly enough -- another point that sites like ours have been making for years and which WB just figured out:
In the international markets, illegal WB content in which pirates dub or subtitle themselves is increasingly popular. For one unspecified program Karakunnel used as an example, it wasn't until the third day after its initial airdate that one such pirate-created translated version accounted for 23% of pirated files of that particular program. By day 10, it accounted for 74%.

Said Karakunnel, "If we can get dubbed or subtitled language versions in the first two days, we can beat them to the punch."
Kudos to Warner Bros. for finally figuring this out, but it's pretty amusing that the company thinks this is new, when just a couple years ago it was denying that any of this was possible.

Filed Under: customers, movies, pirates
Companies: warner bros.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2010 @ 3:12pm

    But for all that, you are very wrong on at least one thing, and they make it clear:

    "Even the most diehard pirates spend some money, though less than more casual infringers"

    The more they pirate, the less they spend. This goes against all those reports and non-scientific phone surveys that the piracy supporters have pushed for years. Pirates spend less than casual infringers.

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