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File-Sharing and Film Revenues: An Empirical Analysis

  • McKenzie, Jordi
  • Walls, W. D.

This study examines the impact of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing on the Australian theatrical film industry. Using a large data set of torrent downloads observed on three popular P2P networks, we find evidence of a sales displacement effect on box office revenues. However, although statistically significant, the economic significance of this displacement appears relatively small. To establish causality, we make use of two precedent-setting Australian Federal Court case rulings, as well as observed levels of contemporaneous downloading in geographically separated markets within Australia. We observe that the release gap between the US and Australian markets is a key contributor to piracy early in a film's theatrical life; this finding provides a partial explanation for the industry's move toward coordinated worldwide rele ases.

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Paper provided by University of Sydney, School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2013-14.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:syd:wpaper:2123/9271
Contact details of provider: Postal: Sydney, NSW 2006
Phone: 61 +2 9351 5055
Fax: 61 +2 9351 4341
Web page: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/economics
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  1. Sylvain Dejean, 2009. "What can we learn from empirical studies about piracy ?," Post-Print hal-00963851, HAL.
  2. Arthur Vany & W. Walls, 2007. "Estimating the Effects of Movie Piracy on Box-office Revenue," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 291-301, June.
  3. Lonnie K. Stevans, 2005. "An Empirical Investigation into the Effect of Music Downloading on the Consumer Expenditure of Recorded Music: A Time Series Approach," Microeconomics 0502002, EconWPA.
  4. Kleibergen, F.R. & Paap, R., 2003. "Generalized Reduced Rank Tests using the Singular Value Decomposition," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2003-01, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  5. W. D. Walls, 2008. "Cross-country analysis of movie piracy," Working Papers 2014-55, Department of Economics, University of Calgary, revised 23 Sep 2014.
  6. Nevo, Aviv, 1998. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-To-Eat Cereal Industry," Food Marketing Policy Center Research Reports 037, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
  7. De Vany, Arthur S & Walls, W David, 1997. "The Market for Motion Pictures: Rank, Revenue, and Survival," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(4), pages 783-97, October.
  8. Liebowitz, Stan J, 2006. "File Sharing: Creative Destruction or Just Plain Destruction?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 1-28, April.
  9. Jordi McKenzie, 2012. "The Economics Of Movies: A Literature Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 42-70, 02.
  10. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  11. Sudip Bhattacharjee & Ram D. Gopal & Kaveepan Lertwachara & James R. Marsden & Rahul Telang, 2007. "The Effect of Digital Sharing Technologies on Music Markets: A Survival Analysis of Albums on Ranking Charts," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(9), pages 1359-1374, September.
  12. Peitz, Martin & Waelbroeck, Patrick, 2006. "Piracy of digital products: A critical review of the theoretical literature," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 449-476, November.
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