Netflix Checks With Pirates to Decide Which Shows to Buy

Illustration for article titled Netflix Checks With Pirates to Decide Which Shows to Buy

The hardest part of beating piracy is finding a way to compete with free. Netflix does it by making things dumb easy, that and purposefully picking up shows that are popular with pirates.

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After the recent rollout of Netflix Netherlands, the company's Vice President of Content Acquisition in Europe, Kelly Merryman sat down for an interview with Tweakers where she said explained the trick: "With the purchase of series, we look at what does well on piracy sites." Not a bad idea.

In a separate interview, also with Tweakers, Netflix CEO Reed Hasting summed up how piracy helps feed into Netflix pretty aptly:

Certainly there’s some torrenting that goes on, and that’s true around the world, but some of that just creates the demand. ...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.

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Of course the strategy of licensing the most pirated shows doesn't always work. It's most useful outside the US, where international rights aren't always locked down. And sometimes shows just aren't for sale. You may recall (and should be able to guess) that HBO's Game of Thrones routinely shatters torrenting records, and it's not coming to Netflix any time soon. So in the meantime, maybe Netflix will just have to work on making its own. [TorrentFreak]

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DISCUSSION

I think like most people I hate a love/hate relationship with Netflix. It's the only service simple enough for my kids to understand and the Chromecast gives it a lot more utility but the selection is shit. Maybe because I was such a TV junkie when I was younger but most if not all of their suggestions I've already watched. The experience to me turned more akin to "Hey let me check what's on Netflix" than I want to watch this particular series or film. Still beats the murderous DISH bill my parents get (over $100 with only one box) but I use their HBO Go so it's necessary.

I was thinking about combining it with some other service, it's still a toss up between Amazon and Hulu. I would've to check where there is less overlap.

BTW how crazy are the people that just post full episodes and films on youtube.