The global popularity of Bollywood films has never been in doubt. Yet, overseas revenues constitute just 8% of the industry’s turnover. Perhaps one of the reasons for this anomaly could be that a sizeable volume of the Bollywood content consumed overseas is in pirated form.
According to Tecxipio, a Germany-based data analytics firm, Tanzania and Ireland are the fastest growing piracy markets for Hindi films. Its analysis of worldwide file-sharing data for the top 100 Hindi films has revealed that in the four years spanning 2013 to 2017, the number of Hindi film downloads grew by 250% in Tanzania, while Ireland led the European markets with a 100% growth.
Macedonia, Germany, Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Turkey were the other European countries with growing audiences for Bollywood movies, while Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, and Morocco were among the African countries developing into hubs for Hindi movie downloads, the report observed. Surprisingly, Canada recorded declining numbers, while file-sharers in the U.S. displayed increasing demand for Bollywood content, with nearly 16% growth in the same 4-year period.
As for the films themselves, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat topped Tecxipio’s list of “the most pirated Hindi movies of 2018”. The piracy list is based on the number of file-sharers who downloaded and shared the respective movies in P2P (peer to peer) networks between January 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018.
According to Shailesh Kapoor, CEO of media consulting firm, Ormax Media, maximum shares for a film happen in the three-four months after its release. So Padmaavat, released on January 25, has had the advantage of the longest window for its pirated prints to build up. The same applies to last year’s second biggest hit, Tiger Zinda Hai , which released just a week before the end of 2017. It could make it to the piracy list only this year, where it held the second spot.
India continued to be the largest market even for pirated downloads, recording a 30% growth over the last four years, thanks to rising Internet penetration.
According to a Tecxipio spokesperson, P2P file sharing activity reflects customer preferences and consumption patterns, and the findings could be used to identify new target markets. “These findings can be used to cost-effectively optimise overseas film distribution strategies, especially for territories in which the content has not officially been released or audience measurements are not available,” said the spokesperson.
The top 10 Hindi movies downloaded and shared in P2P networks between 1/1/2018-6/30/2018:
|Rank||Hindi movie||No. of file sharers||Days in report|
|2||Tiger Zinda Hai||6,326,500||181|
|3||Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety||5,265,881||128|
|7||Hate Story IV||3,493,936||115|
"Days in Report" refers to the number of days (between the report period 1/1/18-6/30/18) a title has been seen in P2P networks.