Watermarked Films Gain Ten Percent Increase in Revenue, Study Shows

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Fri, 06/05/2015 - 10:55 -- Nick Dager

A comprehensive five-country, independent study of movies shows the first statistically significant correlation between the use of the motion picture industry’s standardized Cinavia content protection technology and enhanced studio revenue.

“This study represents the most powerful data the industry has seen to date about how losses due to piracy can be converted into revenue by using Verance’s Cinavia technology,” said Verance CEO Nil Shah. “The data supports our earlier consumer segmentation study that shows most people pirating movies are ‘Dual Consumers’ who also buy legitimate copies, driven in part by curtailment and conversion technologies.”

The independent study examines annual box office revenues, DVD and Blu-ray disc sales data for the top-75 movies in the U.S., UK, Spain, Germany and France from 2010-13 – including more than 100 top-grossing films – and saw a statistically relevant increase in sales for films with Cinavia's watermarks in countries where Cinavia has meaningful penetration.

In an example year, DVD and Blu-ray disc sales get a 10 percent lift in revenue in the U.S. and U.K when the titles are watermarked for both the theatrical and home video markets. Additionally, watermarked disc sales rise 3.5 percent in France and 2 percent in Spain.

The economic study examines the sales impact of Verance’s Cinavia technology, an inaudible audio watermark embedded in motion picture soundtracks, relative to the performance of non-watermarked films in countries and years with high Cinavia device penetration. Researchers find the biggest impact on sales occurs on films watermarked with Cinavia both theatrically and for the home video market.

Verance CTO Joe Winograd said, “This research represents a significant development and was achieved through a rigorous methodology based on an econometric model with statistically sound references and measured market data.”

The motion picture industry standardized Cinavia in 2006 and today it is detected in more than 200 million consumer devices worldwide, including Blu-ray Disc players, game consoles, digital media adapters, PCs and set-top boxes.