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File-Sharing and Film Revenues: An Empirical Analysis

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  • McKenzie, Jordi
  • Walls, W. D.

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • McKenzie, Jordi & Walls, W. D., 2013. "File-Sharing and Film Revenues: An Empirical Analysis," Working Papers 2013-14, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:syd:wpaper:2123/9271
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    1. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
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    5. de Roos, Nicolas & McKenzie, Jordi, 2014. "Cheap Tuesdays and the demand for cinema," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 93-109.
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    7. 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.
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    9. Arthur Vany & W. Walls, 2007. "Estimating the Effects of Movie Piracy on Box-office Revenue," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 30(4), pages 291-301, June.
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    11. 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.
    12. Sylvain Dejean, 2009. "What Can We Learn from Empirical Studies About Piracy?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 55(2), pages 326-352, June.
    13. 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 783-797, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tylor Orme, 2014. "The short- and long-term effectiveness of anti-piracy laws and enforcement actions," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 38(4), pages 351-368, November.
    2. Wojciech Hardy & Michal Krawczyk & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2015. "Friends or foes? A meta-analysis of the link between "online piracy" and sales of cultural goods," Working Papers 2015-23, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.

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