Skip to main content

Oscar nominations see surge in piracy rates

Oscars are the perfect time for independent films and up-and-coming actors and actresses to make a name for themselves, but more recently it has become a way for pirates to know what the best movies were in the year.

A study carried out by US company Irdeto claims that Oscar nominated movies gain huge traction on torrenting sites a week after, escalating downloads by over 1000 per cent in some cases.

Oscar's season is particularly good for quality control on torrenting sites, due to at least one judge or viewer uploading a DVD quality torrent of a particular movie.

This year the three "big winners" in terms of torrenting were American Sniper with 1.4 million downloads, Gone Girl with 1.25 million downloads and Birdman with 800,000 downloads.

The biggest piracy winner was Selma, which noticed a 1033 per cent increase in piracy rates following an Oscar nomination for best picture.

Even though for some indie studios and up-and-coming actors and actresses the surge in piracy may be seen as a good thing, getting their brand out even if it means a lack of revenue, for big studios it is a huge burden.

Irdeto stated that movie companies should remove launch "windows" for movies and offer it on DVD and streaming sites earlier, if they do not want huge piracy rates to continue.

It is often the case when arguing what would prevent piracy, the logical solution is to offer the movie to everyone at the same time, for a feasible price.

The Interview showed that a digital-only option is workable and offering it on multiple platforms like Netflix, YouTube and Blu-Ray draws in the buyers, and removes the need to pirate the movie.

Offering it on dozens of platforms also increases the likelihood of it becoming popular on a service and receiving lots of additional revenue. Cult classics like Scott Pilgrim vs The World were trashed at the Oscars, but managed to receive huge spurts in revenue after being available on Amazon Prime Instant Video and DVD.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.