Retailer welcomes decision to cut cinema to DVD window, but may not kill piracy.The waiting time for new release movies to hit DVD and Blu-ray format will be cut from 120 to just 90 days in Australia, in a bid to cut piracy, a decision announced yesterday by CEO of Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association, Simon Bush,
He said the move to a 90 day window won’t be “across the board” but will occur “increasingly” for new releases.
The move is a “positive development for physical retailers,” JB Hi-Fi Director, Scott Browning, told CN. But still, he’s “not sure what impact this will have on retail [DVD] sales in Australia.”
JB Hi-Fi is one of the largest retailers of DVD’s and Blu-ray movies in Australia, although sales have fallen of late, as digital content 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 by distributors could lead to an increase in sales for physical and digital movies, according to Telsyte analyst Foad Fadaghi.
It will compress the promotional period between cinema and DVD releases, so new releases are “still fresh in their minds” of consumers.
“We’re living in an on-demand world” says Fadaghi – consumers expect content to be available on their device of choice, when and where they want.
The decision to move to a 90 day window 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 completely 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.