Piracy To Drop As Cinema-To-DVD Window Narrows?

Written by Oonagh Reidy     18/06/2014 | 10:18 | Category: CONTENT & DOWNLOADS

Retailers welcome decision to cut cinema to DVD window, but analysts warn piracy may continue

Piracy To Drop As Cinema-To-DVD Window Narrows?

The waiting time for new release movies to go on sale in DVD and Blu-ray disc has been slashed from 120 to just 90 days, in a bid to cut piracy and illegal downloads. 

The move was announced yesterday by CEO of Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association, Simon Bush, who said the 90 day window won't be "across the board" but will occur "increasingly" for new releases, meaning they will be available to buy far sooner. 

The move is a "positive development for physical retailers," JB Hi-Fi Director, Scott Browning, told CN. 

But still, the retail exec is "not sure what impact this will have on retail sales in Australia."

JB Hi-Fi is one of the largest retailers of DVDs and Blu rays in Australia, although sales have fallen of late, as online sources eat into physical sales. 

Despite the availability of digital content including movies via JB Hi-Fi Now, sales of music, movies and games slumped almost 8% in HY14. 

Asked whether the narrowing of the 'piracy window' will help cut out DVD and illegal downloads he admits the (piracy) issue is "far more complex."

The move could lead to increase in physical sales, says Telsyte analyst, Foad Fadaghi. But it may not be enough to kill piracy. 

Certainly, it will compress the promotional period between cinema and DVD release, so new release are " still fresh in their minds" of consumers.

"We're living in a on-demand world," says Fadaghi - consumers expect content to be available on their device of choice, when and where they want. 

The decision is a bid by the movie industry to feed this "insatiable always online appetite", which means its harder than ever to capture the attention of capricious viewers.

But,"its hard to say" if piracy will be reduced, he says.  Piracy is "so widespread, people would have to change their habits." 

He also notes piracy is lower in countries, where on-demand pay per title services are widespread, an industry still in relative infancy in Oz. 

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