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BitTorrent: Our Users Buy/Rent More Movie Discs

25 Nov, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

60% of users said they buy or rent DVD movies

BitTorrent, the file-sharing platform often associated with illegal downloads of movies and music, says its users actually purchase or rent more content than the average Internet user.

The platform said 52% of 2,500 respondents in an online survey conducted in September said they bought or rented at least one movie in the past month. Another 16% said they acquired or rented at least one movie in the past few days; 12% in the past week; and 17% in the past six months.

BitTorrent said users spend an average of $54 a year on movies, with 35% of respondents spending more than $100. Notably, 60% of respondents said they buy or rent movies on disc.

Most popular genres include action at 32%, comedy (16%), Sci-Fi (15%), drama (11%), horror and romance at 5%.

Broken down by activity in the past year, 47% of respondents said they watched a movie in the theater; 38% said they bought a DVD or Blu-ray Disc title; 23% utilized a subscription streaming service; 23% bought a digital movie; 22% said they rented a disc; and 16% said they bought a transactional VOD movie rental.

Indeed, BitTorrent contends allowing its users access to digital movie content, trailers and sneak peaks enhances the chances for retail transactions.

In 2013, Cinedigm partnered with BitTorrent to offer free seven-minute opening clips of Arthur Newman, starring Oscar winner Colin Firth and Golden Globe winner Emily Blunt, four days before the indie launched theatrically.

While sneak peaks and clips of theatrical releases online aren’t new, offering legitimate content on a file-sharing network synonymous with piracy represented a twist — and leap of faith among a movie distributor.

It also underscored BitTorrent’s efforts to legitimize a reported user base of 170 million. Movie studios lost nearly $2 billion in revenue on potential disc sales for the top 10 pirated movies of 2012, according to a recent research report, which cited data from BitTorrent.

“We’re able to connect Cinedigm with real movie fans that actively support content creators and by doing so BitTorrent can demonstrate how we add value through continued innovation,” Shahi Ghanem, chief strategy officer of BitTorrent, said in a statement last year.

B. Riley & Co. analyst Eric Wold said the promotion with BitTorrent enabled Cinedigm to look for creative ways to effectively promote their indie films to the right audiences and for the right cost.

“Cinedigm is not held to the traditional marketing/promotional ways of other studios,” Wold said.

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