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  • Netflix Uses Pirate Sites to Determine What Shows to Buy

    This week Netflix rolled out its video streaming service in the Netherlands where it hopes to build a massive user base in the years to come. One of the keys to achieve this goal is getting the rights to the most popular movies and TV-shows, and this is where pirate sites come in. Netflix Vice President of Content Acquisition Kelly Merryman says that popularity on file-sharing platforms determines in part what TV-series the company buys.

    Video streaming giant Netflix sees itself as one of the most prominent competitors to the many pirate sites that offer video content without owners’ permission.
    However, these pirate sites also offer Netflix valuable information as to what video content they should acquire for their service.
    This week Netflix rolled out its service in the Netherlands and the company’s Vice President of Content Acquisition, Kelly Merryman, says that their offering is partly based on what shows do well on BitTorrent networks and other pirate sites.
    “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 CEO Reed Hastings adds that his company is aware of the many people who download content without permission via torrent sites. However, this is not exclusively a bad thing, as it also creates demand for the content Netflix is offering.
    “Certainly there’s some torrenting that goes on, and that’s true around the world, but some of that just creates the demand,” Hastings says.
    Eventually these BitTorrent users may want to switch to Netflix as it’s a much better user experience than torrenting, according to the CEO.
    “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.
    One goal of Netflix is to convert people who currently use pirate sites to get their fix, and there is some evidence that this is indeed happening. According to Hastings, there is evidence that BitTorrent traffic in Canada dropped 50% after Netflix started there three years ago.
    The real challenge for the streaming service is to license as much content as they can, which is easier said than done. It might not be a coincidence that “Game of Thrones” is the most pirated TV-show. After all, Netflix wasn’t able to buy the rights from HBO no matter what they offered.

    Source: http://torrentfreak.com/netflix-uses...to-buy-130914/
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. zedelph's Avatar
      zedelph -
      I wouldn't mind switching to Netflix, if they didn't ask money to let people view older stuff.
      Like SoA, they only offer 4 seasons, meaning you still have to start torrenting.
      Other shows are also at least 1 full season behind, if not 2.

      So what do they offer that you can't watch on the regular cable you're already paying for...?
    1. Rart's Avatar
      Rart -
      I would say just dont pay for cable at all. You're paying a large amount of money for only recent content that is restricted to very specific times, and with advertisements. Netflix is much cheaper, can be watched at any time, and you can watch older content. Its also commercial free. Fill in the gaps with pirating and Hulu until the TV industry comes up with a better model for distributing content, similar to what Spotify and Steam have done for music and games. Paying absurd prices for seasons on demand and premium channels such as HBO is an archaic concept and the sooner business execs realize that the better.
    1. megabyteme's Avatar
      megabyteme -
      Best $8 a month I spend. Period.

      I have been suspicious of Netflix doing just this. They seem to trail behind the non-mainstream torrent releases by just a couple/few months in many, many cases.

      If Netflix continues to improve on its already great model, I can see myself not being entirely worried about the eventual (they all do) demise of torrents.

      I've said it before- if The Industries began distributing first-run content for a reasonable rate (I'd pay roughly $20-$25 per month) X100 million households in the US alone, there would be no shortage of money available to "support the artists".
    1. duke0102's Avatar
      duke0102 -
      It's just a shame I have to use a VPN to get most of the content that's available, I live in the UK and see half at most of what the US does. Netfilx allows 2 machines so does my VPN so I'm still happy using them
      I appreciate it's not Netflix's fault though.
    1. jbloggs's Avatar
      jbloggs -
      I see a lot these 1 year 'netflix gift codes' being sold on e-bay for a fraction of the price. I wonder if these people have figured out a way to generate these codes.
    1. crocan's Avatar
      crocan -
      Dear Netflix unpayed employees,
      Please continue good work
    1. megabyteme's Avatar
      megabyteme -
      Quote Originally Posted by crocan View Post
      Dear Netflix unpayed employees,
      Please continue good work
      "Unpaid" other than the free television and movies. I have no problem with the Industries making money, I just do not support them directly.
    1. goldfad's Avatar
      goldfad -
      Netflix is free foe one mounth