“Pirates Are The Movie Industry’s Most Valuable Customers”

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The movie industry is trying a different approach towards piracy, recognizing that the people they tried to criminalize are actually their best customers. "We know that the people that infringe content are the most valuable audience group," Liz Bales of The Industry Trust says.

worthpayingPiracy, it’s a crime” and “You can click but you can’t hide” are slogans from two familiar anti-piracy campaigns launched by the movie industry in the 2000s.

Despite these efforts, unauthorized copying grew in popularity over the past decade, spurred on by better broadband connections and cheaper bandwidth. Perhaps of even greater interest, there was also a counterproductive element to this negative messaging which the movie industry overlooked.

Pirates are actually the industry’s most valuable customers.

In recent years several studies have shown that those who share movies illegally tend to spend more on legal entertainment. This finding is now recognized by the Industry Trust For IP Awareness, which includes all major Hollywood studios among its members.

“We know that the people that infringe content are the most valuable audience group,” Liz Bales, Director of the Industry Trust says.

“They go to the cinema more than the national average, they are buying more Blu-rays than anyone else. They are more likely to have a Sky subscription and they are massively in love with Lovefilm and Netflix,” Bales told TechRadar.

With the above in mind, the movie industry has been rolling out a new series of anti-piracy PSAs. Instead of criminalizing their own audience, the campaigns gently suggest that their customers should pirate a little less.

“It’s saying that we know you love movies and value that you are spending money on movies but we just want you to do a bit more of the right things and less of the infringement,” Bales explains.

In other words, the messaging has become more positive, pointing out that there are plenty of legal options to choose from. The latest video in this series focuses on the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2 release.

Using the slogan “moments worth paying for” the video points out that people can also pay for their movies, hoping it will encourage pirates to pay more often.

Whether these positive campaigns will prove successful remains to be seen, but it’s a refreshing approach for sure.

It’s worth paying for


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