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Not everyone who watches a pirated movie is a committed bootlegger, a new study finds.

The majority of consumers who watch pirated films — some 94 percent — say they also buy legitimate copies.  Those who only occasionally watch unauthorized versions of movies, or stream them because it’s convenient, can be most readily coaxed to pay, the study found.

Occasional and convenience streamers account for about one-third of unauthorized viewing.  These consumers say they prefer to watch a legitimate copy of a film, but they’ll watch the black-market version when the opportunity presents itself or when their subscription services don’t have the title they’re seeking.

About two-thirds of these consumers say they won’t spend more than a few minutes to find an alternative when their initial access to a pirated movie is blocked. Instead, about 40 percent of these would-be pirates have sought out a mainstream source, such as a movie rental service or a theater.

The findings were based on the online responses of 1,070 people, and interviews with 24 people, all of whom had attempted to watch a pirated movie in the past three months.

To be sure, not everyone surveyed was as easily converted.

A sizable group of movie buffs, dubbed the “no big deals,” have been watching pirated movies most of their lives, and see no harm in continuing to do so.  Another segment, the “content enthusiasts,” love movies — but don’t have enough discretionary income to pay for all the movies they want to watch. Similarly, the “cost sensitives” view piracy as a cheap form of entertainment.

About one in six Americans age 13 and older actively consume pirated movies, watching an average of 23 unauthorized films a year.

L.E.K. Consulting conducted the survey on behalf of Verance Corporation, a San Diego company whose technology can be used to identify pirated films and redirect viewers to legitimate sources to rent or purchase a movie.




6 comments
JMWJMW
JMWJMW

So, pirates, at least once in their life, have bought content.  Maybe even bootlegged content.  What passes for news and insight ...

Scandal Savage
Scandal Savage

I myself never watch screen (cam) rips. I go in the cinema because even if I don't like a movie itself there's still dolby surround sound and large-format 3D as part of entertainment. I'm not about that it's not possible to get most of that effect buying home theatre but I don't have a point to. I know people who'r waiting cam rips to watch the move only to decide if they want to spend time for the cinema and if they do like a movie they go and pay for a ticket. Those people say that without pirates they simply would go in the cinema more rarely.

Markizd
Markizd

Movies are getting cheaper. If it's not a blockbuster you can buy it new for $5 or used for $2; and rent it for $1. When the cost comes down it becomes easier to just buy. Now you can focus on cost of Internet access, which is going through the roof; and cell phone charges which can equal a car payment!

Jmarsh5
Jmarsh5

Watching pirated films is the best form of advertising for movies. Watch it, if you like it, buy it. Simple as that. The alternative is just never buying the movie at all because you don't know if you'll like it or not and don't want to waste the money if it turns out that you don't like the movie.

JMWJMW
JMWJMW

@Markizd  Really?  A cell phone charge (monthly, yearly?) is as much as a car payment?  This sounds like a troll-generated nonsensical post.

JMWJMW
JMWJMW

@Jmarsh5  I use that approach at the bank, and they arrest me.  What am I doing wrong?  Isn't how the bank performs "customer service" during a robbery a good metric for how they'll treat me as a customer?