Olswang’s new Convergence Survey finds that delivering consumers the content they want how and when they want it will be one key to curbing piracy.

As such, Olswang suggests that the film industry has to rethink the traditional theatrical window in order to reap more profits.

The report notes that in the UK, there is a current strong focus on subscription models for in-home digital entertainment, which is tricky for independent players because of Sky’s deals with the studios. Another sticking point with industry executives is how catalogue titles are often lumped into a stream-as-much-as-you like service, killing off some DVD sales for library titles.

The poll showed “considerable interest” in premium VOD, with 19% of consumers saying they would pay a premium price to watch a film at home close to its theatrical launch time. Of household with children, the figure was 25%.

In 2010, the download to own market was worth £78m and the download to rent (or streaming) market was worth £205m.

Among theatrical trends, the report noted that alternative content continues to grow business for exhibitors, and there are high hopes for further 3D events, especially the 2012 Olympics shown in cinemas in 3D.

At home, the research revealed that consumers are not only living in a multi-screen world, but increasingly using multiple screens simultaneously.

Olswang’s research found that 18- to 24-year-olds showed an increased willingness (as compared with other age groups) to use a “companion screen” while watching TV (such as a tablet or laptop or smartphone) and that 29% of iPad owners were likely to pay 99p for an app that would allow them to play along with a TV gameshow in real time.

This isn’t just multi-tasking, as the individuals reported using the secondary screen to interact with main screen contact through social communications or surfing for additional content. As such, Olswang encourages broadcasters to further harness platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to drive the explotation of main-screen content.

Matthew Phillips, Media Partner at Olswang, said: ”Companion screens are set to take this type of viewer interaction to new heights opening the doors for broadcasters and online developers through ‘social TV’ platforms. This is not inventing new behaviour but instead using new technology to deepen audience engagement.”

The survey includes an online poll of more than 2,000 adult consumers as well as interviews with more than 30 senior executives.