Movie pirates still likely to pay to see films, says new research

Viewers who illegally download movies also love going to the cinema and don’t mind paying to watch movies, according to research by two economists at the University of Portsmouth.

Dr Joe Cox and Professor Alan Collins said that movie pirates were less likely to stop paying to see movies despite also illegally downloading, with prolific movie pirates tending to be wealthier, less worried about being caught and more likely to cut down their piracy if they think they are harming the industry.

The research, which was published in the Journal of Behavioural and Experimental Economics set out to examine the differences between movie and music pirates, with the former described as an “entirely different breed from those who steal music.”

“It is interesting to see that people who illegally download large quantities of movie files continue to pay for legal movie consumption to a far greater extent than music downloaders,” said Dr. Cox.

“However, it came as no surprise to find that the most prolific pirates of either movies or music tend to be younger men. They have the skills, the motivation and the equipment to between them to steal large volumes of music tracks and movies every month.”

He said the differences lie between music and movie pirates as downloading and file-sharing films is more technologically demanding, requires faster internet speeds, greater digital storage capabilities and access to a wider range of devices for playback than pirating music, which is now “relatively simple, fast and cheap.”

The researchers, from Portsmouth Business School, analysed results from a survey of more than 6,000 people aged seven to 84 to examine the attitudes of those who illegally download movies and music from the internet.