Growth in number of DVD players in India :
- 2007 – 12 million
- 2009 – 40 million
- expected to grow by another 12 million per year.
However, the value of DVD sales is falling:
- 2007/8 – 350 Crore
- 2008/9 – 320 Crore (estimated)
The industry estimates that 90% of home film viewing is of pirated material. Despite aggressive cost cutting in DVD prices, many companies have not seen demand increase.
It seems to me that the biggest problem to be countered in combating piracy is distribution. Firstly of films, and secondly of legitimate DVD.
In terms of films, a huge weakness in the Indian distribution network is the lengthy delays in prints moving from the larger cities to smaller cities. No one wants to wait weeks to watch the films that the media is raving about, so buying pirate DVDs seems like a ‘fair’ option to people living in smaller towns. The cost of making enough film prints to cover all cities is prohibitively high, so the only solution to this is the steady roll out of digital cinema.
In terms of DVDs, until the police work to remove the pirate DVD stalls from train stations and shopping areas, it is simply easier for most people to purchase pirated material rather than original DVDs. Now that companies like Moser Bayer are offering real DVDs at almost the price of pirated ones, if the availability of purchase locations was as convenient as it is for pirated material, then most consumers would prefer the higher quality of real discs.
When Moser Bayer began their discounted DVD strategy, their announced plans included selling the DVDs from stalls and roaming carts. I don’t know why they haven’t pushed ahead with this?
(Stats from Screen India, Oct 2nd 09)