Digital Movie Sales Increase Following Piracy Crackdown [Study]

Movie sales have reportedly increased following a recent crackdown on piracy websites.

After Megaupload and Megavideo were forced to close up shop, a large number of people began to purchase legitimate copies of the movies they wanted. The Unites States and 11 other countries reported an increase in digital sales after the cyberlocker site was shut down.

Once these sites were no longer available to the public, movie sales were reportedly six to 10 percent higher than studios had expected. Researchers believe this is directly related to the shuttering of several popular movie piracy websites.

“We conclude that shutting down Megaupload and Megavideo caused some customers to shift from cyberlocker-based piracy to purchasing or renting through legal digital channels,” the study explained.

Wellesley College professor Brett Danaher and Carnegie Mellon University professor Michael D. Smith received reports from two Hollywood studios following the closing of Megaupload in 2012. The researchers discovered that weekly digital movies sales increased by approximately 10,500 and 15,300 units.

Rentals were up following the closure of several piracy websites as well. The study found that people rented between 13,700 and 24,000 more on-demand movies than they did prior to Megaupload’s closing.

Although the studio focused on the increase of digital sales, researchers didn’t analyze how piracy affected packaged media, theatrical, or physical rentals. Study authors didn’t reveal which Hollywood studios supplied the information.

Digital Movie Sales

Although digital movie sales experienced a bit of an increase following the death of Megaupload and Megavideo, researchers said they weren’t sure if this trend would continue.

“We do not know whether the sales increase will persist or if these new consumers will eventually find their way back to alternative piracy channels,” the authors revealed.

Cisco Systems’ Visual Networking Index stated that cyberlockers and torrents account for approximately 25 percent of overall internet traffic. Most of that bandwidth is being used to illegally download music and movies.

Are you surprised that digital movie sales increased following the death of cyberlocker giant Megaupload?