Can streaming end illegal filesharing?
As it becomes easier to stream video content, the attraction of illegal downloading is diminished
Streaming video is booming online - 64% of internet users watch video clips.
Okay, you will say, we knew before that watching clips on YouTube is popular. But on top of that 31% - almost a third - watch full-length TV and video programming, a recent survey revealed.
The fact that more and more content is available via streaming obviously has an effect. Indeed, the research conducted by Global Web Index suggests that downloading content will be less attractive if the content is available somewhere else.
"Thanks to the rise of online services such as Spotify, Hulu, iPlayer and of course YouTube, the environment has been created where you can stream almost all the content you would ever want," said Tom Smith, the managing director of Trendstream, the company that launched the service Global Web Index.
Michael Comish, the CEO and co-founder of blinkbox, a UK provider of streamed TV and movie agrees. He says that in the UK the activities of the BBC has helped to educate the market. "Our research suggests that the most active consumers of video show both the highest probability of being a pirate and of purchasing online. We expect that a large percentage of the £2bn DVD market will migrate online in the next five years, driven by the natural adoption curve for a new product, streaming, and TV-based viewing."
The research of Global Web Index shows that 55% said they were downloading films via filesharing because it saves them money - but the other 45% can be persuaded to consume films legally if the technology allows them.
What were their reasons for filesharing? As the chart shows, 32% said they wanted instant access, 11% said it was the only way they could find the material and 2% said that it was a way to get it as soon as it was released.
"If everything I want is available on demand, the concept of ownership is diminished. I no longer need to have it on my hard drive. I just play what I want when I want. This is not only a threat to traditional packaged sales of music, TV and film, it will also kill off piracy. Why pirate when you can stream?" said Tom Smith.
Indeed, streaming can be attractive for the entertainment industry as well, because it is an alternative revenue model - and not only in terms of advertising. "Our buy rates increased three-fold since we switched from a download-only model to a streaming model for all our pay programming," said Comish.
The time may be approaching when online video becomes more important than live TV.
What do you think - will filesharing diminish as more ways to get content legally arise?
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