Recent or Free? An Experimental Study of the Motivations for Pirating Movies

38 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2020

See all articles by Marc Bourreau

Marc Bourreau

Telecom ParisTech

Marianne Lumeau

University of Angers

François Moreau

Université Paris 13

Jordana Viotto da Cruz

University of Edinburgh - Edinburgh Business School

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

The emergence of online providers aggregating illegal content from streaming platforms is rekindling the debate about online piracy. In the past, the discussion mainly focused on the impact of piracy in content industries and the effect of anti-piracy measures. But little is known about one crucial aspect of piracy: consumers' motivations to use illegal channels. Yet, understanding consumers' behavior could help practitioners and policymakers to allocate their resources better to fight online piracy. In this paper, we fill this gap by focusing on two main motives for the illegal consumption of online content: paying lower (zero) prices and having access to content that is not available in legal channels. To disentangle the role of each motivation in consumers' choice, we ran a laboratory experiment with real consumption, a methodology that provides participants with incentives to reveal their true preferences about consumption while controlling for the choice environment and the consideration set. Our results suggest that consumers turn to illegal channels primarily to save on the price of content, and that they are less sensitive to the availability of content in legal and illegal channels. We discuss the implications of our findings for practitioners and policymakers.

Keywords: piracy, digitization, movies, free, release windows, experiment

Suggested Citation

Bourreau, Marc and Lumeau, Marianne and Moreau, François and da Cruz, Jordana Viotto, Recent or Free? An Experimental Study of the Motivations for Pirating Movies (2019). CESifo Working Paper No. 8036, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3523540

Marc Bourreau (Contact Author)

Telecom ParisTech ( email )

46, rue Barrault
Paris Cedex 13, F-75634
France

Marianne Lumeau

University of Angers ( email )

4 Boulevard Lavoisier
BP 13633
Angers, 49016
France

François Moreau

Université Paris 13 ( email )

France

Jordana Viotto Da Cruz

University of Edinburgh - Edinburgh Business School ( email )

29 Buccleuch Pl
Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9JS
United Kingdom

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