Combatting piracy by giving the content away

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Ad Week interviewed the CMO of VIZ Media, a publisher of anime and manga content and one of the largest publishers of graphic novels in the United States.

“A year ago, we did the unthinkable: we combated piracy by offering our content online for free. Now anyone can read the latest chapters as they were meant to be enjoyed, in the highest quality layout and art form.

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The company feared that the move would compromise sales, which rose instead by attracting consumers away from pirate sites and creating new fans. “Our service also has paid options that give access to our entire vault and the membership numbers have been nothing short of amazing.”

Read the full article at Ad Week

Why it matters

It may seem counterintuitive but if it takes less cost and effort to give content away than it does to offset the cost of antipiracy infrastructure by charging for the content, then so be it.

Advertisers are another example.  On one hand, they want to maximize the effectiveness of their ad expenditures.  On the other hand, some quietly won’t argue if their ads are read by unintended recipients because it increases the ad’s reach.

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