You wouldn’t download a car, would you? Well… ok we probably all would if we could.
We have all seen these advertisements before movies, reminding us that piracy is taking food out of the mouths of hard working people in Hollywood. But how much work are these studios doing themselves to fight piracy?
We decided to put together some research on what movie studios are currently doing the most in an attempt to cull piracy of their films. By looking into the take down requests submitted regarding piracy websites, we were able to determine, when compared to total market share, which of the major studios were using the most resources to try and chop off the head of the three-headed Hydra.
We pulled numbers from Google’s ‘Transparency Report‘ to determine how many take down requests had been submitted regarding sites that predominantly offer pirated movies. We then looked at the number of times the major studios had submitted these requests (for clarity in the case of 21st Century Fox, they had an auxiliary legal team place the requests).
While these numbers were interesting, we also wanted to compare them to a benchmark, so we used “studio market share (US/Canada)” to determine how big each of these studios are relative to their efforts combating piracy.
- Paramount Pictures is by far the most active studio in submitting piracy take down requests. With only 6.2% market share, they submitted 25.6% of the requests. Some of their most popular recent movies include the ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Transformers,’ and ‘Iron Man’ franchises.
- Columbia Pictures has submitted the fewest requests, at 8.5% market share, they have only submitted 5% of the requests (2,943 in total).
- Paramount Pictures (6.2% market share) has submitted 15,197 total requests, while Universal Pictures (21.7% market share) has submitted 11,754, the second highest.
You can download the numbers here, or see the totals for each studio in the below graph:
Interestingly, the biggest piracy bait tends to be major franchise films. With their recent focus on such films, it makes sense that Paramount Pictures would top the list of most active piracy take down requests. Films like ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Star Trek’ get pirated a lot. Disney being near the top also makes sense, especially with their recent ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ film being one of the most pirated films of all time.
Are these constant take down requests the answer?
It seems unlikely that perpetual take down requests are making any true progress in stopping piracy for the major studios. So why do they keep doing it?
Just as it’s relatively easy to seed a torrent, it’s also not terribly difficult to request removal. With that in mind, the studios have certainly run financial models that have shown some level of fighting piracy has an ROI that outweighs the cost of the practice.
But this certainly isn’t a long term solution, right?
As the future turns to streaming, and studios even consider partnering with services that would allow same-day streaming as major theatrical releases, the solution seems to be, you guessed it, ease of access. Cost is not as prohibitive as originally thought, people are willing to pay for simple solutions.
Will people still pirate? Probably until the world ends. But the best solution still seems making content more accessible through broader distribution.