Piracy a threat to online biz: PwC

MUMBAI: The key motivator for consumers to pirate films and television programmes is the reward of free content. But aside from the traditional reason of price, leading factors also include consumers‘ desire for earlier access, a perception that "everyone is doing it" and the explosion of free content available online. This is according to PwC‘s new piracy study from its US consumer research programme measuring consumer attitudes towards piracy and related behaviours.

Michael Paterson, a partner in PwC‘s Canadian Entertainment & Media group, said: “At the same time, consumers in Canada are being faced with escalating access fees and the usage based billing debate is ongoing. Usage-based billing if a reality will push consumers back to traditional and payment based methods of consuming content."
The key findings in the PwC study include:

•81 per cent of the consumers who admit to pirating TV, movie and video content say they will likely continue to do so.

•40 per cent of those who report "pirating" content via traditional methods said they will probably also pirate on mobile devices within the next six months.

•$3 for a movie and US$1 for a television show is the maximum amount consumers who admit to pirating are willing to pay to access content.

•Combating piracy remains a struggle and a prime concern for entertainment companies - especially with the growing ease at which consumers can now access a variety of content on multiple platforms at their fingertips. Given the proliferation of smart phones, consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices to access the Internet—on average, 35 times per week.
Paterson said, "Mobile piracy is poised to escalate with the proliferation of smartphones. This will need to be addressed in anti-piracy efforts. There is some good news in sight as consumers expressed concern about potential piracy pitfalls, including poor quality of some content and the possibility of downloading a virus or facing legal trouble." 

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