This month The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights published a report on test case: legal online offers of film. The objectives of this study were to establish whether and how digital content is legally available via online sources in different countries.
The test case was set up as a focus group test, in which a small panel of experienced (but non-specialist) consumers, first, verified whether a selection of film titles was legally available on TV on-demand (pay per title) service and, second, discussed their experiences with online on-demand services in a moderated group discussion. The test case was carried out in 11 countries, including in Latvia.
This search task (for which just over half of the participants used more than one service) showed that in most countries the majority of the films could be found. International films were found the most often. Overall, the success rate of finding titles in the categories of classic films, domestic and foreign domestic films was broadly similar. Documentaries proved by far the most difficult to find in all countries.
This test case is the second in a series of two, with the first one, conducted in 2016, investigating the access to digital music content.
The studies showed that for both music and films, the choice between streaming and downloading depends mainly on needs or personal preference: downloading is chosen for content that is consumed more often, to save data and to overcome connection problems; streaming as the overall preferred method – to save device storage space and to have quick access. The content availability, measured by the proportion of successful searches, was higher in the music test case. The search strategy for films was to use more sources. For music the participants more often stuck to one source and stopped searching if they could not find the song there.