Friday, February 27, 2015

Netflix uses piracy sites to decide which content to buy

Remember when Netflix unleashed all of the old episodes of Breaking Bad or when all seven seasons of The West Wing magically appeared in your instant queue earlier this year? That hapened because the Netflix folks know what's up and have been keeping their eyes on popular piracy sites.

Netflix uses piracy sites to decide which content to buy

A kind of screen some Netflix test subjects might see. The Instant Queue feature is replaced by "Your List." Putting the cursor over a thumbnail brings up a window with two hidden tools. Moving the cursor over "In Your List" changes the button to say "Remove X." Clicking "More Info" brings up a page that lets the subscriber pick episodes.
A kind of screen some Netflix test subjects might see. The Instant Queue feature is replaced by "Your List." Putting the cursor over a thumbnail brings up a window with two hidden tools. Moving the cursor over "In Your List" changes the button to say "Remove X." Clicking "More Info" brings up a page that lets the subscriber pick episodes.

Remember when Netflix unleashed all of the old episodes of Breaking Bad or when all seven seasons of The West Wing magically appeared in your instant queue earlier this year? That hapened because the  Netflix folks know what's up and have been keeping their eyes on popular piracy sites.

Basically, they keep track of the content that people are most likely to steal from the Deep Internet and then purchase the rights to provide that content to you as a part of their glorious, glorious, $9.99/month offering.

Netflix execs have previously claimed that piracy rates decline in countries after it launches. Indeed, CEO Reed Hastings claimed that BitTorrent usage in Canada dropped 50% following the streaming service’s launch in the country.

“Netflix is so much easier than (using BitTorrent),” Hastings said in a separate interview with Tweakers. “You don’t have to deal with files, you don’t have to download them and move them around. You just click and watch.”

So, not only is Netflix providing a life-changing service, they're also trying to discourage you from stealing crap. Don't ever change, Netflix. Don't ever change. [Variety]

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