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Ensuring online video revenue in the face of piracy by Helge Høibraaten, CEO of Vimond Media Solutions W hen it comes to distributing video online, broadcasters and other content distributors have seen a substantial viewing time amongst certain demographics move from traditional channels to piracy. Numerous debaters have tried to give a definite answer to whether this hurt sales and current business models, or if this is complimentary add on viewing. Personally however, I believe it is fair to conclude that, at least in the long run, substantial piracy will hurt rights holders. I also believe we have fair proof of functional anti piracy measures that works. Market leader broadcasters in the Nordics have taken an active positive measure by providing most or all of their content through the open Internet to “all screens connected.” By doing so, they have become leaders in their respective online video markets as well. And even though piracy continues to grow globally, this group of broadcasters has created online video services that beat the pirates at their own game in their own turf. Many of these services are based on subscription, or a mix of subscription and ad based income. 56 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 80 AUGUST 2013 The services have been so successful that these broadcasters have been able to regain audience share from the cribs of The Pirate Bay, one of the world’s most famous file-sharing piracy communities. In fact, according to a 2013 survey by Norwegian market research firm Ipsos MMI, for the copyright organization Norwaco, piracy has fallen sharply in Norway. Illegal downloading of television shows dropped by more than half from 2008 to 2012, and illegal downloading of films was down by almost half over the same period. This is despite the fact that Norwegian law did not offer much protection against piracy until this year. In a July 2013 article covering the topic in Norway’s newspaper, copyright lawyer and former University of Oslo professor Olav Torvund points to the legal video-streaming services as the most likely cause to this dramatic change. What made these services so strong? I believe by persistently focusing on delivering high quality services, and with no hold back on the content to protect linear viewing are major factors. In addition enabling easy content-browsing, and building their portals so that end users get tempted by, interested in, and excited about the content, and in turn become loyal to their online video brands have been key. In other territories we often see protection of traditional business models putting a high constraint on the development of user friendly and successful streaming services from the major players in the market. But we also see complicated, manual and slow workflows hinder companies from getting a break through. In Vimond Media Solutions we believe content availability to be the future. And we believe our customers, amongst them most of the major Nordic commercial broadcasters, are proving that there are good reasons for taking active and direct control of your content distribution. We believe this to ensure a major position for them in the fast growing online consume of content. We are also proud to see that in this pursuit they trust us to be their partner for continued success, to help them always ensuring high quality, easy and efficient workflows and commercial success. The audience, finding rich and efficient services available, has now less reason to pirate the content, and this seems to have a proven dramatic effect on audience behavior.