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Monetizing Consumer Software in High-Piracy Markets


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With growth in the primary market for consumer software providers (the developed world) limited by saturation and the current recession, vendors everywhere are turning to emerging markets where personal computers are becoming increasingly popular. In 2007, the value of the software required for these PCs was estimated at $11 billion for China and India alone. But there’s a catch. Piracy makes up about 80% of that total, translating into billions of dollars of lost revenue.

Extremely high rates of piracy in some of these major emerging economies have long vexed the world’s leading consumer software product companies. Such companies have seen market shares soar but little revenues or profits emerge. The crime of piracy in emerging markets is a crime of opportunity. Pirated software is cheaper and offers almost all the same features as its legitimate counterparts. Moreover, stamping out piracy is low on the priority list of most law enforcement agencies in developing countries. Our latest whitepaper, “Monetizing Consumer Software in High-Piracy Markets,” examines moves by different companies to tackle this challenge, and proposes a holistic approach that engages all stakeholders in the ecosystem and provides a way of extracting value from such markets.

The problem of piracy is vast and complicated. However, by understanding some of the underlying reasons for its existence, companies and governments can work to curtail its prevalence and take full advantage of the tremendous opportunities offered in these high-growth economies.

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