Even the Media is Using Piracy to its Advantage

The one thing a studio or other entertainment executive fears most is being shown the door in one of the industry’s frequent shakeups. The second biggest fear is seeing the bottom line revenue numbers dwindling— because condition B often leads to condition A.

This they fear more than losing their Galaxy S3 cases. And you know what a pain that can be.

Pitfalls of Piracy

Yes, Hollywood and its cousins, the music and video gaming industries, have spent years bemoaning the toll that piracy has taken on its business. Where once they could merely haunt flea markets and urban sidewalks to make sure that pirated product wasn’t hitting the streets, they now have to deal with a worldwide digital explosion, where anything is available anytime and usually from anywhere.

While it’s true that physical product sales have been dwindling over the years– music CDs and DVDs are now considered quaint – the industry is finally taking a new approach to piracy.  And that’s saying something, considering that technology industries have been claiming new technology is killing sales ever since the days of player piano rolls, which publishers claimed were killing sheet music sales.

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em

Today’s enlightened Hollywood entertainment executive realizes that railing against piracy is akin to trying to empty the ocean with a spoon and a pail. You can try very hard to fight the good fight against this perceived evil, but ultimately you will fail. There’s just no defense against something that’s pretty much ubiquitous, and while you’ll have some victories in your struggle, you’ll lose more than you can ever win.

That’s why you see music companies finally embracing online streaming services after years of fighting; why Hollywood studios are monitoring what gets copped on BitTorrent and other PirateBay sites. They realize that a certain percentage of people will still buy their products, enough so that those that steal are actually providing market research, letting them know what works and what doesn’t.

Hollywood Exploits the Obvious

When the mainstream realizes what’s popular, they can begin the process of figuring out how to better exploit it.  A recording is being constantly streamed?  Well, just think of the ticket revenue and merchandise sales that can be realized when that recording artist goes on tour. A television show or film is being viewed a lot?  They can capitalize on the advertising possibilities that can still be realized from the Blu-Ray edition, the cable re-runs, the Internet streaming and the boxed collection for those binge viewers who don’t have time to sit around and download everything.

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