I smell fudge!
The study adjusted its figures to account for ... the wishes of the people paying the bills.
A new study claims that the revenues of two anonymous Hollywood studios rose between 6 to 10 per cent in countries where digital sales are available, after the cyberlocker site Megaupload was shut down. "Our analysis shows that the shutdown of a major online piracy site can increase digital media sales, and by extension we …
I have worked in Market Research, and my experience is that the only *real* research done is to determine what result the client wants. The figures are then manipulated to get the desired result, to ensure repeat business from the client.
One keen graduate of my aquaintance was so disturbed by this practice, that she went back to college to study furniture making.
If I have a car and one day it breaks down, I'm likely to accept the inconvenience of two or three buses. If there were no such thing as cars then I would have put more effort into arranging my life so that I didn't have to catch two or three buses to get to work.
Adjusted to account for Christmas, fine, but were they adjusted to account for the general upward trend in those markets anyway? As more people switch from physical to digital, what were the upward percentages in the months surrounding the shutdown?
As usual with the MPAA, I'm doubting this is the entire story. Likely cherry-picked to justify their heavy-handed tactics.
...that the poor 'reliability' of the DVD sales figures [huh?] which resulted in them not being calculated, actually means that DVD unit sales were down by approximately [exactly] the amount that digital unit sales increased by.
The cherry-picking will be the selection of regions/markets where there was a pre-existing trend away from physical sales to on-line.
Meh, hopefully the 'research' will be released, and it'll give Dotcom yet another cause-of-action to be eventually taken up against the publisher-robber-barons.
So what they mean is that if they included the physical media then total sales were down as Megaupload and such sites encourage people to go for downloads as they don't have to rip the files themselves to watch them on their PC/tablet/phone.
Of course that is just my theory which will gain no media headlines as I am not running a famous (but anonymous) film studio which just happens to spend lots of money buying advertising space in all the various media formats.
That probably wasn't Disney and Universal.
I think more the likes of Kluckenwurtz Films, an Alabama studio specialized in documentaries of bluebottle mating rites on local dungpiles and Inuit Flesh Flix Inc. , founded in December 2012 . . .
To use the word "proof" (even with a qualifier) in a study where no direct correlation is established is (in my opinion) nonsense anyway.
"Controlling for country-specific trends and the Christmas holiday, we find no statistical relationship between Megaupload penetration and changes in digital sales *prior* to the shutdown. However, we find a statistically significant positive relationship between a country’s Megaupload penetration and its sales change after the shutdown..." [Note: *Emphasis* is mine]
So the number of Megaupload users in an area had no measurable impact on digital sales/rentals *while it was operating* but shutting it down pushed sales up? Maybe I don't understand the math here, but to me that implies any change is just coincidental rather than causal.
The only real issue I have with this study is that there simply isn't enough data; a 9 month window (September 2011 to May 2012) isn't a big enough sample. You really need two or three years of data tracking both legal and illegal downloads to reach a meaningful conclusion IMHO.
That is not what that means. It means that people WERE willing to pay for the content if they couldn't get it for free.
A nine month window in financial/sales reporting is plenty large enough to see a given impact. The trick is to positively identify the cause of the results. They don't seem to have done that very well here. Too many variables unaccounted for.
So what happens if those studios had crap movie after crap movie and then managed to get a half decent movie out the door? Would that change anything? You be your ass it would. Biased shill study is biased.
In 2005 there was a studio called Franchise Pictures that excreted a movie called "A Sound Of Thunder" that resulted in a 97.6% loss. Film budget = $80mil and it made $1.9mil.
I bet that was the fault of those nasty file sharers. Those feckers.
That's not the fault of the Studios. Their original intention was that the UN General Assembly hold their breath until they turned blue and Kim strapped the servers to his back and swam to the United States to beg forgiveness after walking 1800 miles to some place in Kansas, I think. The plan was to auction the servers off to Amazonian Tribes which although as yet undiscovered probably owned sufficient Electricity Trees ...
See ? Not their fault.
Was this not around the time ultraviolet started to ramp up?
I've got a few Blu-Rays at home with "ultraviolet" digital versions of the movie (which I've never bothered with, as my PC doesn't have a Blu-Ray drive and it's easier/preferable to visit pirate bay for a digital copy of my legally acquired movie than give all my private info to a movie studio) and these seem to have become prevalent around the same time as mega went down - do these "physical - digital" copies count in the study? simply bundling a digital copy with the physical copy could easily account for a bump in "digital sales".
With all this MPAA FUD floating around, I think it's time El Reg implemented a "sceptic" icon...
I could see them counting the digital copy thing.
I've tried using them twice. Had trouble with the code both times, the one that I got to work looked like a VCD.
Most of the time they have expired when I get around to buying the disc anyway. I'll just rip my own copy thank you.
Freetards go on about "if it is easier to do X, people will do X". So closing megaupload made it harder for them to find stuff. Some of the freetards got fed up with that and actually bought the product instead. Which part of this is hard to understand? That people, if they can't find it for free, might actually pay for something?
Perhaps the movies produced in 2011/12 were less shit and people went to watch them.
Perhaps people are less freaked about the GFC and are spending money again?
Or maybe they really are right.
The only way to tell would really be to turn megaupload on/off for a year at a time and see if the Hollywood sales also follow the square wave pattern.
My immediate thought. 2012 was a particularly good year for movies. The Avengers, Dark Knight, Skyfall, and there were lots of other popular movies. There was a definite improvement in the quality of movies after mega upload closed.
(Did they chose the time to gt it closed it carefully, to produce these results?)
Anyone looked at the movie releases on DVD / Electronic formats for the period of the analysis? Without knowing the studios involved in the study it could be a release of say.. Oh, I don't know, a movie kids and teens would go berserk for which influenced the figures, I mean it's not as if twilight, breaking dawn part 1 was released during the post shutdown study which may have influenced things, or MI: Ghost Protocol, perhaps War Horse... Those would be completely coincidental and couldn't influence the numbers at all, it MUST be the result of shutting down a file host.
"The academics were keen to stress that the study wasn't funded by the MPAA, and that the anonymous studios providing the sales data had no editorial control – but it's worth noting that IDEA itself was created last year with funds provided by the MPAA"
Says it all. The whole world is bloody coprrupted by money.
An almost 60 years old book, still useful and accurate as hell.
The final chapter, giving some giveaway methods, tells that...
"the method may be direct misstatement or it may be ambiguous" -> anonymous studios...
"selection of favourable data and suppression of unfavourable" -> Only two studio, and physical media sales labelled as "not relevant"
"practice of using one year for one comparison and sliding over to a more favorable year for another" -> again, depend of what was out of those 2 studios.
"Use of OK names" : Carnegie Mellon University.
"A correlation given without a measure of reliability (probable error, standard error) is not to be taken very seriously" -> To be confirmed, can't check the paper from my office...
"Given percentages and missing raw figures" -> checked again.
And so on...
A very interesting read if you're into manipulation - even if most examples are a bit outdated.
Perhaps they should also discover a link between megaupload and the unemployment rate, or between abortion and criminality... (yes, it's a deliberate poke)
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