More and more media outlets are waking up to the fact that piracy is not only inevitable, but also a clear indicator of popularity. Last week we reported that the creators of Game of Thrones were not only aware of their show’s status as the most pirated online, but also welcomed it as the biggest way the content makes it out to fans.
Now more interestingly we’ve learned that Netflix actually change their charges and availability of shows in certain areas based on what’s being pirated the most. If you’re from a certain country where a certain show is pirated a lot, chances are Netflix has a deal to make it more available and will tweak the price to suit potential audiences.
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To Netflix piracy represents competition as opposed to crime – it’s practically been legitimize by some companies who have finally given up all hope of the practice ever being properly stamped out. Here in the UK for example, the practice is somewhat decriminalized. You won’t end up in jail for bulk downloading entire shows every week, although your internet service provider will certainly attempt to sway you by sending you some polite but firm letters.
Netflix CEO David Wells spoke up on piracy during a recent earnings report, highlighting just how much the company as to consider piracy in the market as part of their global business strategy.
“Piracy is a governor in terms of our price in high piracy markets outside the US,” Wells said.
“We wouldn’t want to come out with a high price because there’s a lot of piracy, so we have to compete with that,”
Of course the other problem for Netflix themselves is virtual private networks (VPNs) which allow some users to log into versions of Netflix only offered in certain countries. These ‘proxies’ or ‘IP blockers’ make viewing Netflix itself easier to do for some viewers who can;t access certain content from the US in other countries.
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“The best way to make the VPN issue a complete non issue is through global licensing that we’re continuing to pursue with our partners,” Said Netflix head of content Ted Sarandos.
It certainly is true that Netflix would be a lot better if certain American broadcasters let them send out content to global audiences. For now, pirates and VPN users will still consider cheaper methods of accessing shows, but it does seem that the day when all television programs are broadcast globally is drawing near.
Via: Torrent Freak