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Pirate Sites Give Netflix Insight on What Shows to Buy

By Leo Boon Yeow - on 16 Sep 2013, 11:02am

Pirate Sites Give Netflix Insight on What Shows to Buy

 Image Source: Netflix (which unfortunately isn't available in Singapore right now)

One of the biggest competitors to movie and video piracy is Netflix. It basically buys popular shows, and streams it to its customers for a fixed monthly fee. However, to figure out just what locals want to watch, Netflix has to figure out just what is popular in that particular region -- which is where pirate sites come in.

According to Torrentfreak, Netflix launched in the Netherlands recently, and Netflix vice president of content acquisition, Kelly Merryman admitted during its launch that local content on the streaming service were partly determined by what shows are popular with local pirates. 

“With the purchase of series, we look at what does well on piracy sites,” Merryman told Tweakers. One of the shows that Netflix acquired the rights to in the Netherlands is Prison Break, since it is heavily pirated locally. “Prison Break is exceptionally popular on piracy sites,” Merryman says.

In a separate interview, Netflix chief executive officer, Reed Hastings said that piracy makes Netflix much more attractive to users, because the streaming service is easier to use than torrenting. 

“Netflix is so much easier than torrenting. You don’t have to deal with files, you don’t have to download them and move them around. You just click and watch,” Hastings says.

To back his point, Hastings also claimed that (torrent traffic) piracy has dropped by 50% since Netflix went into Canada three years ago. The only problem that Hastings has now is the procurement of content to cater for Netflix's users.

Game of Thrones (HBO) is still unavailable on Netflix, which could be a large contributing factor to its "most pirated TV-show" status. 

Unfortunately, for Singaporeans, Netflix isn't available here officially due to a myriad of reasons. If you'd like to give Netflix a try, you'll have to jump through a few hoops in order to do so (searching for it will yield several results).

Source: Torrentfreak, via The Verge

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