ABS-CBN loses up to P400 million to piracy

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - November 5, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Media and entertainment giant ABS-CBN Corp. estimates to have lost P300 million to P400 million in revenue last year due to piracy.

ABS-CBN head of information security and data protection officer Jay Gomez said in a chance interview with reporters, the revenue loss was due to unauthorized use and sharing of content including movies produced by the firm. 

He said the film “The How’s of Us” starring celebrities Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla which was produced by the company and shown in cinemas last year, could have earned more than P1 billion if not for piracy. 

Last year, the How’s of Us became the highest grossing Filipino film of all time as it grossed P810 million from its run in cinemas.

This was recently replaced by another ABS-CBN film “Hello, Love, Goodbye” which featured Bernardo with Alden Richards. This film raked in more than P880 million.  

Gomez said piracy has become rampant with the greater use of social media and smartphones.

“Ten years ago, social media was not that prevalent. Second, data. There’s also the advent of smartphones,” he said. 

He said for The How’s of Us, Facebook was the top choice for sharing the pirated link by individuals to other users.

He said instances of piracy also tend to be a higher when there is hype over the film. 

Intensive promotion of a film leads consumers to look for ways to get access to such content and sometimes, they would even resort to illegal means. 

To address piracy, Gomez said ABS-CBN has measures to protect distribution of content. 

He said the firm uses watermark for content being distributed. 

“Our rule is that we want fewer copies as much as possible,” he said. 

Apart from top-rating TV programs and box-office films, ABS-CBN is also behind best-selling books and music. 

In addition, the company is engaged in a growing list of digital properties. 

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