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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Total Impact of Movie Piracy: $20 Billion? ... Plus, A Q&A With YouTube Co-Founder Chad Hurley

- The NY Times today mentions a new study from the Institute for Policy Innovation (a think tank of the ultra-conservative variety) that estimates that the total impact of movie piracy is actually much bigger than the MPAA believes. (The MPAA estimated that studios lost $6 billion to piracy in 2005.) The IPI study says that "motion picture piracy now results in total lost output among all U.S. industries of $20.5 billion annually. Output includes revenue and related measures of economic performance." And, "Absent piracy, 141,030 new jobs would have been added to the U.S. economy. Of this total, 46,597 jobs would have been created in the motion picture industries while 94,433 jobs would have been added in other industries." The conclusion of IPI's executive summary:

    The true cost of motion picture piracy far exceeds its impact on the movie producers themselves, and harms not only the owners of the intellectual property but also all U.S. consumers and taxpayers. As policymakers seek to maintain the health and vitality of the U.S. economy and preserve our global competitiveness, it is imperative that government and industry work together to combat this growing problem.

Here's a start: How about making it easy to buy movies in digital form, new and old, and get them to play on any device?

- Saul Hansell has a piece on YouTube in the Times today, and accompanying it is a Q&A with Chad Hurley. Here's a passage about advertising:

    Q. Would you allow “pre-roll” ads to be shown before your clips?

    A. No, not right now. I mean that’s some of the things that we’re looking at, advertising models right now. We don’t believe in pre-roll. We don’t believe in forcing people to watch something. We don’t think that’s the best way to communicate a message to people. And, just looking at different ways that help brand advertisers tell a story is one of the things that we’re looking at. Ways that advertisers can engage with the users and the audience with their brands and have the users benefit from that.

    In the past months, we have had ads that people can actually interact with like any other piece of content on our site. And that ties into also a brand-new channel that gives a brand or an advertiser a place in our community on our site like everyone else.

    Q. But you said a vast majority of your stuff was user-generated and kind of wacky unpredictable stuff. Why would an advertiser want to be next to something where it might be something disgusting?

    A. Well, I think it’s the nature of the Internet. There’s not really any safe places on the Internet. And they just want to get in front of audiences...

And meanwhile, down in Dallas, Mark Cuban is still explaining why YouTube is doomed.


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