Most consumers back Aereo in Supreme Court case
Michelle Clancy
| 12 June 2014
As the Supreme Court of the United States prepares to rule in the copyright infringement case of American Broadcasting Companies v. Aereo, a survey reveals that the majority of consumers want to see Aereo prevail. However, there's a gotcha: they also believe that like traditional cable companies, Aereo should compensate broadcasters for content appropriation.

Peerless Insights announced results of a new study gauging consumer opinions about the Supreme Court ruling, which is expected to be announced this June, which will decide if Aereo is in compliance with the current copyright laws around private and public performances.

"We designed this study to understand the consumers' interest in the Aereo service and how they perceive the current copyright laws," explained Peerless Insights co-founder Young Ko. "We found that the majority of people surveyed want Aereo to prevail, but that doesn't mean they're leaving broadcasters out to dry."

The study revealed that 46% of consumers want Aereo to win, and just 15% want the Supreme Court to rule in favour of broadcasters. Furthermore, 40% of consumers agree that Aereo offers a service that legitimately follows copyright laws; just 19% disagree with that.

Still, 35% say that Aereo should pay copyright fees like traditional cable companies.

"These findings may appear mixed," notes Ko. "However the numbers tell us consumers want alternatives like Aereo while recognising the need for fairness in the marketplace."

The findings suggest there is room for the industry to develop a viable business model supporting the emerging class of consumers that want both a lower-cost offering and fair compensation for content owners.

"Clearly, the demand for a service like Aereo is growing," reflects Ko. "Now the question is: can the industry find a business model that will benefit over-the-top services, TV broadcasters and viewers alike?"