BitTorrent activity drops in markets where Netflix is available

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netflix, bittorrent, piracy, file sharing, downloads, arrested development, house of cards, torrents

The best way to combat piracy isn’t legislatively or criminally, but by coming up with an alternative that makes it easy to consume the content at a fair price. That according to Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos, who says that whenever the service launches in a new region, BitTorent traffic suffers a significant drop.

In a recent interview with Stuff.tv, Sarandos briefly touched on the topic of piracy, arguing that people do want a great  experience and if there’s a legal alternative available many of them will take this route. Even though he admits that global availability is still a problem due to licensing constraints, Sarandos says that’s a goal they’re steering towards, adding that “one of the side effects of growth of content is an expectation to have access to it. You can’t use the internet as a marketing vehicle and then not as a delivery vehicle.”

It’s not the first time we’ve heard someone from the content industry take an unprejudiced stance on the topic of piracy, but at the very least it’s encouraging to see it happen more often. After all, Netflix is not immune to piracy either. According to Variety, over 20,000 copies of Netflix-exclusive House of Cards have been shared on The Pirate Bay, but further driving the point, most downloads came from countries where Netflix isn’t available.

You can’t use the internet as a marketing vehicle and then not as a delivery vehicle.

We could turn to HBO for more proof of this as people have been long clamoring for a standalone version of their Go service -- all the while their Game of Thrones series consistently ends up among the top torrent downloads. That’s not likely to happen any time soon as the company has been clear it doesn’t want to upset their lucrative distribution deals with cable providers. But lately they’ve softened their stance on the matter, even suggesting that ‘eventually’ HBO Go could ‘maybe’ evolve as an additional service offered by ISPs.

Besides discussing piracy Sarandos shared some details of the soon to be revived Arrested Development series. Namely, that the new season was completely crafted for Netflix viewers who could watch a bunch of episodes in a row, as every episode intertwines with all the other ones and a complete throwaway line could be the punch line to something three episodes ago. And will we get more than one season? Hopefully, he says.

He was less enthusiastic about technologies like 3D and 4K saying they are taking a wait and see approach.

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