Pre-release movie piracy: The numbers show it

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Image source: Sony Pictures

(Note: Fierce Video published a revised version of this article)

By Steve Hawley – The action movie Bloodshot was released on Friday, March 13. But it was available online worldwide, well in advance of release, according to a Google Trends search for ‘download bloodshot movie‘ for the period from February 14 to March 14.

By Saturday morning, March 14, searches by people looking for download sources for this movie were popular three weeks before release, and then up by ten-fold from March 2nd.

Source: Google Trends (Search for ‘download bloodshot movie’ – Feb 14-Mar 14, 2020)

The most demand was apparent in countries with low-disposable-income economies.  In these countries, subscribing to pay TV and attending the movies at a theatre are luxuries – but everyone can stream via a mobile phone.

Source: Google Trends (Search for ‘download bloodshot movie’ – Feb 14-Mar 14, 2020)

What’s notable?

The theft and conversion of Bloodshot to digital (if digital conversion was in fact necessary) took place at least two weeks before theatrical release.  If it’s using modern antipiracy technology, the studio is probably well aware of where and when the movie was stolen.

Of course this situation isn’t unique to Bloodshot. As the global coronavirus pandemic gained momentum, digital piracy is being observed for movies like Contagion as well.

And demand has increased for TV as well.  According to a March 2020 study published by TV Time, 91% of consumers surveyed plan to isolate themselves or are considering isolation.  Among that 91%, 84% intend to increase their TV consumption during this period.

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