A new study published by the European Commission shows that online movie piracy hurts sales….except where it doesn’t. This is also assuming the 30,000 respondents in six countries answered a survey about piracy honestly. Seriously, who takes surveys?
This paper presents estimates of lost movie sales due to unpaid movie consumption. We are the first to provide estimates that are recent, representative of the internet-using population, and cover multiple countries. Based on an online questionnaire with almost 30,000 respondents, we document that one unpaid (first) viewing of a movie displaces about 0.37 units of paid viewings. Using a back-of-the-envelope calculation, we show that this implies that unpaid movie viewings reduced movie sales in Europe by about 4.4% during the sample period. Lost sales differ substantially by country: they are in the range of 1.65% for Germany and 10.4% for Spain. We also find that 94% of lost sales are due to unpaid viewings by a small group of only 20% of consumers. Our findings have important implications for copyright policy.
Source: Social Science Research Network