The Many Motivations Of Movie Piracy (Notably Absent: 'I Want Everything For Free')
from the copy-culture dept
In the recently released Copy Culture In The US & Germany survey report from the American Assembly (for which we provided the design & layout work), one small but especially interesting component is the list of reasons given for downloading TV shows and movies. The American responses were pretty evenly distributed among the various key reasons, and serve as a laundry list of things that piracy does just slightly better, or slightly more permissively, than most legitimate sources:
While price was one of the top three reasons, this hardly paints a picture of penny-pinching freeloaders—rather, it shows emerging trends in media consumption that distributors and rightsholders simply can't keep ignoring. Absolutely none of these responses are surprising, because they are exactly the way people have been interacting with the majority of content online for years now. They share, they use multiple devices, they expect comprehensive access and a choice of sources, they want access as soon as possible, and they are put off by obtrusive advertising.
Of course, that last item is a bit of an oddity. The knee-jerk reaction among most people is that all advertising is bad, but that seems to underestimate the amount of stuff that advertising pays for or subsidizes, and that most of us happily enjoy on a daily basis. Advertising is one of those things that only ever gets badmouthed, because you only focus on it when it's bad — when it's good it doesn't register as advertising because it doesn't register as intrusive. The perennial buzz around Superbowl commercials and the 44-million views on Old Spice's famous viral ad support this notion pretty strongly.
In the world of online television, I think there's room for both subscription models and advertising-funded models — and even some combinations of both if balanced correctly. But until content providers start tackling the overall problem by catching up to pirate sources in the many areas where their services fall short, no model is going to succeed in defeating piracy.