Infringing anime downloads increase DVD sales

A thoroughgoing report from the Japanese Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry on the effect of piracy on anime DVD sales concludes that while some channels (rentals) are harmed by infringing downloads, others (sales) are helped. Which is to say: copyright infringement doesn't mean your business is doomed, it just means a small shift in emphasis and strategy:

"Estimated equations of 105 anime episodes show that (1) YouTube viewing does not negatively affect DVD rentals, and it appears to help raise DVD sales; and (2) although Winny file sharing negatively affects DVD rentals, it does not affect DVD sales," the researchers conclude.

"YouTube's effect of boosting DVD sales can be seen after the TV's broadcasting of the series has concluded, which suggests that not just a few people learned about the program via a YouTube viewing. In other words YouTube can be interpreted as a promotion tool for DVD sales," it adds.

The results of the Japanese research confirm that piracy does not always have to be associated with a decrease in sales. Similar effects have been observed for music piracy and book piracy as well.

Internet Piracy Boosts Anime Sales, Study Concludes

(Image: DVD collection, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from fabokun's photostream)