Movie Piracy and Displaced Sales in Europe: Evidence from Six Countries
24 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2016 Last revised: 30 Sep 2016
Date Written: September 22, 2016
This paper presents estimates of lost movie sales due to unpaid movie consumption. We are the first to provide estimates that are recent, representative of the internet-using population, and cover multiple countries. Based on an online questionnaire with almost 30,000 respondents, we document that one unpaid (first) viewing of a movie displaces about 0.37 units of paid viewings. Using a back-of-the-envelope calculation, we show that this implies that unpaid movie viewings reduced movie sales in Europe by about 4.4% during the sample period. Lost sales differ substantially by country: they are in the range of 1.65% for Germany and 10.4% for Spain. We also find that 94% of lost sales are due to unpaid viewings by a small group of only 20% of consumers. Our findings have important implications for copyright policy.
Keywords: displacement rate, movies, copyright, lost sales, displaced sales
JEL Classification: O34
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