A MUSO research study into the audience demand for nearly 100 films has proven that there is a very strong and statistically significant correlation between Box Office revenue and unlicensed consumption.
A MUSO research study into the audience demand for films has proven that there is a very strong and statistically significant correlation between Box Office revenue and unlicensed consumption over the same time period. The relationship between Box Office revenue and unlicensed consumption has a Spearman's Correlation Coefficient of 0.85. A high Spearman correlation value close to 1.0 as is the case here, means that demand demonstrated in Box Office revenue behaves very similarly to the demand seen in MUSO's unlicensed consumption data.
The research that proved this correlation was based on Box Office revenue data and Discover Audience data from MUSO.
The similarity between the two different data sources means that each data source could be used as a valid proxy for the other.
MUSO’s findings were recently validated independently by Omdia, the global research and advisory group who stated in their recent report: “Box office performance correlates strongly with the volume of digital piracy for theatrical film titles.”
Cinema Box Office data was provided by world leading media measurement providers. In the North American market, the data details cinema revenue at the individual premises and film-title level.
MUSO Discover measures over 730,000 film & TV titles across 172 countries and territories. The data covers multiple methods of unlicensed content delivery including Streaming, P2P Torrents, Web Downloads and Stream-ripper sites. MUSO provides this information to clients including Production Studios, VOD platforms, Broadcasters, Distributors and Sales agents in order to better understand content demand to better reach audiences.
Combining both box office and MUSO DIscover data has the potential to create a new age of information for film consumption and demand research.
To measure the correlation between Box Office and Unlicensed Demand data and prove the hypothesis that there is a strong correlation between Box Office revenue and unlicensed consumption.
A strong correlation between the two data sets would:
- Validate each data set as a measure of consumer trends.
- Enable the combination of the two datasets to offer a complete view of global film demand during the theatrical window.
- Enable the use of one dataset as a proxy for the other.
We correlated Box Office data and Discover Audience data from MUSO across 98 film releases.The data covers demand in North America for films released between July 2019 and January 2020 and between July 2021 and January 2022.
We measured consumption for the film titles, from the release of the film in cinemas up to either (i) the closing day of the film in cinemas, or (ii) the Video-on-Demand release date of the film; whichever occurs first.
The group of film titles analysed includes blockbuster titles such as:
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
Spider-man: No Way Home (2021)
The Lion King (2019)
Fast & Furious: Hobbs and Shaw (2019)
Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)
A study of Box Office and MUSO data shows that film demand, in almost all cases, follows a pattern of:
- Peak in Demand at the time of release
- Demand tailing-off thereafter, except,
- Peaks in demand that coincide with weekend days.
The non-linear nature of film demand informed the decision to use Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient as a measure of correlation. Spearman’s coefficients range from -1 to +1.
Spearman’s coefficient = -1 = Perfect negative correlation
Spearman’s coefficient = +1 = Perfect positive correlation
Spearman’s coefficient = 0 = No correlation.
The chart below plots Box Office revenue and Unlicensed Demand over Time from Release Date for the 98 films analysed. Both the Box Office data and the MUSO unlicensed consumption data show the initial release peak followed by declining demand with the exception of peaks during subsequent weekends.
The correlation between Box Office revenue and unlicensed consumption has a Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient of 0.85
Thus there is a very strong, statistically significant, positive correlation between Box Office revenue and unlicensed consumption. Therefore unlicensed consumption data can be used as a proxy for Box Office data and vice versa.
The study indicated that there is a very strong and statistically significant correlation between Box Office revenue and unlicensed consumption over the same time period.
Further, unlicensed consumption data of films can be used as a valid proxy for Box Office revenue data and vice versa.
The combination of Box Office revenue data and unlicensed consumption data would provide a holistic view of film consumption.