From Torrent Freak:

After a film premiers in theaters, movie fans usually have to wait a few months before they can get their hands on a DVD or Blu-Ray copy, depending on the local release strategy.

This delay tactic helps movie theaters to maximize their revenues. However, it might not be the best option for aftermarket sales, which typically account for the largest chunk of a movie’s revenues.

One factor that comes into play here is piracy. Due to artificial delays which vary across different parts of the world, pirates can often get their hands on a high quality rip of a movie before the DVD is officially released in their country.

A new study published by Carnegie Mellon University researchers has looked into this piracy “window of opportunity,” and found that release delays are actually hurting DVD and Blu-Ray sales.

Using real-world data the researchers investigated to what degree the availability of pirated movies during international release delays impact subsequent sales and found a clear positive relation.

“Our results suggest that an additional 10-day delay between the availability of digital piracy and the legitimate DVD release date in a particular country is correlated with a 2-3% reduction in DVD sales in that country,” the researchers write.

The results are robust and the researchers controlled for a variety of alternative explanations.

For example, a longer delay itself doesn’t have a significant effect on sales. Revenue is only impacted if this also results in a longer “piracy window.”

More proof that the effect is…

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