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Piracy drop boosts Australia home video consumption

November 6, 2017

By Colin Mann

Consumer data released from the Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association (AHEDA) indicates that in-home consumption of video has benefited from industry efforts to combat film and TV piracy.

New research by GfK shows that in Q3 2017 (July – September), just 16 per cent of Australians claimed to have watched pirated content in the previous month, which is down from 21 per cent in Q3 2016.

AHEDA attributes this success to a combination of the recent site blocking cases against major film piracy sites, the launch of the Brian Brown-led campaign on TV and in Cinema alerting consumers to the perils of piracy sites, as well as easily accessible and reasonably priced legitimate content.

“What is most exciting is that we are starting to see a correlation between a drop in piracy and an increase in legitimate consumption,” noted AHEDA CEO Simon Bush. “Whilst this is early days in terms of seeing the effect of recent site blocks and the consumer campaign, it appears the measures are working, alongside easy access to legal services and content.

The GfK data for Q3 showed that in the past year, the proportion of the population to view SVoD has grown 29 per cent, purchasers of digital copies of films (electronic sell through or EST) grew 22 per cent whilst download to rent was flat (VoD).

“This initial data is very encouraging and as we do more research into the efficacy of site blocking, we hope to demonstrate that it is an effective solution,” added Bush.

Digital home entertainment film and TV sales in Australia reached a record A$206 million in 2016, with 2017 on track to beat that number with year to date sales through to July reaching A$117.3 million.

Digital movie consumption remains very healthy with double digit growth; however, digital TV has seen consumption shift to SVoD platforms such as Stan and Netflix.

AHEDA says it is important that there is a viable and healthy film and TV sector in Australia, both for telling Australian stories as well as for employment and its economic contribution. Respecting and protecting copyright is important. It notes that a PwC report released in October 2017 showed that in 2015-16, using ABS data, Australia’s copyright industries:

  • Generated economic value of A$122.8 billion (€80.89bn) which makes the sector larger than manufacturing, health care and mining;
  • Employed over 1 million people; and
  • Generated A$6.5 billion in exports.

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