Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - MEDIA& MARKETING -

THE US copy­right Act prohibits unau­tho­rised use of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty, and any­one who il­le­gally down­loads con­tent could face fines or even prison. The law does not ad­dress the ac­tiv­ity that Tru Op­tik and the oth­ers are pur­su­ing, namely pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion about these con­sumers.

The NAB and other in­dus­try groups are not lob­by­ing for reg­u­la­tory or leg­isla­tive changes to cur­tail this fledg­ling busi­ness. The Fed­eral Trade Com­mis­sion, which over­sees ad­ver­tis­ing, has not ad­dressed the is­sue and did not re­turn a re­quest for comment for this story.

So for now, one of the big­gest ob­sta­cles for the start-ups may be the com­fort level of would-be cus­tomers. Their pitch is based on com­pelling sta­tis­tics.

About 70 per­cent of con­sumers un­der 30 in the US and Ger­many, for ex­am­ple, have copied, shared or down­loaded files il­le­gally, ac­cord­ing to a 2013 study by Columbia Univer­sity and re­search in­sti­tute Amer­i­can As­sem­bly.

Plus there is ev­i­dence these view­ers spend more on me­dia than their peers. A 2014 sur­vey of 2 500 users of BitTor­rent, a pro­to­col that al­lows peo­ple to share files, are 170 per­cent more likely than oth­ers to pay for dig­i­tal mu­sic.

Tru Op­tik has signed up about 20 cus­tomers, Swanston said. The Stam­ford, Con­necti­cut, com­pany has 20 em­ploy­ees and works out of a for­mer YWCA that has been retro­fit­ted into a loft-style of­fice.

Be­sides its work on peer-to-peer file shar­ers, Tru Op­tik pro­vides clients with an­a­lyt­ics on view­er­ship of stream­ing plat­forms, in­clud­ing Roku and Ap­ple TV.

Another Tru Op­tik client, stream­ing ser­vice YipTV, dis­cov­ered from the data­base that 25 per­cent of il­le­gal view­ers of the “El Clas­sico” soc­cer matches between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid were women who also like novella-type movies.

So the West Palm Beach, Florida, com­pany launched a cam­paign mar­ket­ing its sports of­fer­ings to these view­ers.

It saw a 35 per­cent increase in sub­scrip­tions, in­clud­ing a 10 per­cent increase in fe­male cus­tomers.

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