A prestigious economics think-tank of the Japanese Government has published a study which concludes that online piracy of anime shows actually increases sales of DVDs. The conclusion stands in sharp contrast with the entertainment industry’s claims that ‘illicit’ downloading is leading to billions of dollars in losses worldwide. It also puts the increased anti-piracy efforts of the anime industry in doubt.
The Japanese Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) has published an elaborate study that examined the effect of piracy on sales and rentals of Japanese anime DVDs. The results are quite remarkable.
While the music and movie industry often make outrageous claims about the disastrous effect of piracy on their respective industries, researchers are still divided. Some researchers claim a considerable loss due to unauthorized sharing, while others have found that the overall effect of piracy is a positive one.
RIETI’s study on the effects of piracy on the sales of anime DVDs in Japan falls in the latter category.
In their paper the researchers examine the effects of YouTube and the popular P2P-network Winny on DVD sales and rentals of Japanese anime episodes.
“Estimated equations of 105 anime episodes show that (1) YouTube viewing does not negatively affect DVD rentals, and it appears to help raise DVD sales; and (2) although Winny file sharing negatively affects DVD rentals, it does not affect DVD sales,” the researchers conclude.
“YouTube’s effect of boosting DVD sales can be seen after the TV’s broadcasting of the series has concluded, which suggests that not just a few people learned about the program via a YouTube viewing. In other words YouTube can be interpreted as a promotion tool for DVD sales,” it adds...
People who want to buy anime will continue to buy anime. Quite a few of them find out about new shows through extra-legal channels. Those who pirate and then don't buy wouldn't buy because they don't want to pay for anime.
Kanchou wrote:How did they distinguish between causation and correlation?
Did the piracy make the popularity (and sales), or did the popularity cause piracy?
I doubt this was properly tested. One way they could do it would be to take releases from two popular series. Leak one online before the official release and don't leak the other. Compare the resulting sales.
And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking Racing around to come up behind you again The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older Shorter of breath and one day closer to death