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OZ Movie Downloads ‘World’s Cheapest’?

OZ Movie Downloads Simon Bush, CEO, of AHEDA has accused consumer group Choice of ‘cherry picking’ after it launched a campaign claiming TV shows like Walking Dead cost 376% more here than the UK. 

Choice also accuses content providers including Foxtel and iTunes of ripping off viewers, by charging the ‘Australian Tax’. 

But new “independent” research by analysts IHS now claim Australia is one of the cheapest markets in the world for rental digital downloads, or VoD.

IHS partnered with Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association (AHEDA), whose members include US movie houses Twentieth Century Fox, Sony DADC and Foxtel, and claim its analysis shows that for video on demand (VoD) new release movies, the average price is $4.25, for a Stand Def. title. 

However, the analysis was an average of prices across Foxtel, BigPond Movies, iTunes, Google Play and others. A ‘new release’ movie was classes as anything that came out within the last 52 weeks, meaning the movies analysed may not be very new, at all. 

The Home Entertainment Distributors, however, claim the findings mean Australia is second cheapest out of countries like UK, Italy and Germany, and just 32c behind the US, to get a SD movie on demand.

The research also claims Australia has the lowest average price in the world for new release HD digital VoD films, at $5.19, compared to the US at $5.30 and UK at $6.41.

Foxtel has been accused of rorting consumers on its high cost cable TV service, while the high cost of movie downloads and TV series here, is well documented. 

AHEDA and other super rich content providers are putting pressure on the government to crackdown on online piracy, as group like Choice say the extortionate cost of content is pushing people towards using illegal services like bit torrent. 

The research also claims 83 per cent of Australian consumers choose VoD for watching new release films.  

These findings shows Australian consumers are getting some of the best prices in the world for the latest new release films in the format they prefer, says Bush. 

“This is in stark contrast to what groups like Choice would have you believe. Cherry picking a few film titles and comparing then against one market does not constitute proper research and mis-represents the facts.”

“It is time the debate matured in Australia and hyperbole and deception exposed for what it is. “

The Digital Content Guide launched in August shows Australians now have access to 36 legitimate online platforms for viewing film and TV content, he added. 

“The excuse for doing nothing about piracy – including the poor excuse on price – is no more. We need action and a legislative response to reverse our world first piracy rates to ensure we protect the industries that bring this entertainment to our screens.”