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Do You Care That Video Piracy Makes Studios Lose Money?

Image via 20th Century Fox
Image via 20th Century Fox

You know your illegal downloads of Titanic and every episode of Lost are theoretically hurting someone, but many of you content thieves don’t think too deeply about it, do you? Maybe you even cackle maniacally whenever a head of an awards organization preaches about piracy on stage at a show.

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According to a new survey from the digital security company Irdeto, a surprising majority of people are actually good-hearted. Per the survey, only 39 percent of American consumers said they were unaffected by the knowledge that studios lose money because of their bootleg activities. That percentage seems low given that zero percent of video pirates I know even think about it.

Notable stats from the survey, which polled 1,190 consumers in the U.S. over age 18:

74% of U.S. consumers acknowledged that producing or sharing pirated video content is illegal while 69% agreed that streaming or downloading pirated content is illegal.

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(So most of agree that stealing movies is bad.)

Overall, 32% of the survey’s respondents said that they watch pirated content...When informed that pirated video content can result in studios losing money—hurting their ability to invest in creating new content—39% of consumers said that has no effect on the amount of pirated video content they want to watch. 

(But those 39 percent of people don’t really think about it.)

Moreover, only 19% of respondents said that the financial damage caused by piracy would stop them from watching pirated content altogether.

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(And yet, seeing the bright side, some of those people are generous enough to stop watching video content at all once they realize how much money it hurts the people who make the content.)

The results also found that TV shows made up 24 percent of the content video pirates consume and that 24 percent of survey takers preferred newly released films. Similar to how streaming helped cut down on illegally downloaded music, it seems like these stats will shift increasingly in the studios’ favor as TV providers make streaming services more accessible and affordable to the average consumer.

Culture Editor, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

I care, but when studios don’t pay attention to the market and release their product in a restricted manner, I feel a whole lot less sympathetic about it. I’d be fine paying a bit for a product I want to see, but I’m not going to go get an whole HBO subscription for GoT which is the only place I can find it legally. I don’t NEED HBO except for that one thing and I’m not going to pay for a thousand things I don’t need.

Keeping a stranglehold on your product means people who can’t find it easily will find other methods to get it. If the studios actually made their product more widely available across multiple services, I think we’d see a lot less piracy.