Australian home video consumption benefits from drop in piracy

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017
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Digital video consumption to reach new records

SYDNEY — New consumer data released today by 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) only 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.(1)
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,” AHEDA CEO Simon Bush said.

“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,” Mr Bush said.

The GfK data for Q3 showed that in the past year, the proportion of the population to view SVoD has grown 29%, purchasers of digital copies of films (electronic sell through or EST) grew 22% whilst download to rent was flat (VoD).(2)

“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,” Mr Bush said.

Digital home entertainment film and TV sales in Australia reached a record $206 million last year. 2017 is on track to beat that number with year to date sales through to July reaching $117.3 million.
Digital movie consumption remains very healthy with double digit growth, however, digital TV has seen consumption shift to SVoD platforms like Stan and Netflix.

It is important that we have a viable and healthy film and TV sector in Australia, for both telling Australian stories as well as for employment and its economic contribution. Respecting and protecting copyright is important. A PwC report(3) released last month showed that in 2015-16 using ABS data, Australia’s copyright industries:

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

1. GfK Consumerscope research into video consumption trends with survey sample size of 3,185 people in Australia aged 14-65.
2. YE Q3 2017 vs. YE Q3 2016
3. The Economic Contribution of Australia’s Copyright Industries – 2002-1016, PwC, September 2017.