BitTorrent usage is climbing and streaming services' original content is to blame

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,325   +120
Staff member

Streaming video services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video were supposed to curb piracy by providing subscribers with an easy and affordable way to consume content. Mission accomplished? Yes and no.

The aforementioned streaming services and their competitors have indeed created an ecosystem in which people are willing to pay a reasonable rate for access to a massive library of media. But along the way, something happened. Rather than simply serving as a hub for movies and TV shows, these companies decided they wanted to participate in the production of original content.

Again, this has largely been a success. Without Netflix, for example, we wouldn’t have Stranger Things, Black Mirror or House of Cards. Amazon has delivered The Grand Tour, Transparent and The Man in the High Castle, just to name a few. You get the point.

It makes sense for a streaming outfit to produce original content as it serves as a differentiator between it and the competition. If service A offers something that service B doesn’t, that gives consumers a valid reason to select one provider over another.

It’s this exclusivity, or fragmentation, that is steering some back to the path of piracy as subscribing to every available service becomes cost prohibitive at a certain point.

As outlined in Sandvine’s October 2018 Global Internet Phenomena Report, BitTorrent traffic now accounts for nearly 22 percent of total upstream volume (and roughly 32 percent in EMEA regions).

One of the reasons it’s higher in EMEA regions is because these areas don’t always have instant access to the latest content. If a Game of Thrones episode is launched and isn’t immediately available to stream, some eager fans will turn to file sharing to get the episode ASAP. And in some regions, exclusives aren’t available at all, giving interested viewers virtually no legal options to watch.

In actuality, BitTorrent numbers are probably even higher than what Sandvine is reporting due to the use of proxies and VPNs.

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ShObiT

Posts: 196   +205
"An unforeseen side effect of original content production"

Unforeseen by who, every customer locked away from content behind ever increasing paywalls and services know where to go, we just didn't wanted to keep going to those places to support the content. But these days supporting these Money hungry shareholders is too difficult.
I can say I'm guilty, but I'm not gonna pay for 5 streaming services, in wish one of them is trying to make me e-Shopping addicted just to see 8 shows, and with the lack of free time it will take at least 5 month to watch it all...
 

noel24

Posts: 616   +620
It's the same thing over and over again. Corporations see the money on the market and believe they can swipe it for themselfes, all of it. They all believe they will take over of 99% of the market, being it video, gaming, smartphone or PCs penetration. They get too greedy. In the end They will fail. We got limited amount of disposable income. As I age I make more money, but also get more expenses towards family, house and car credit. I will not spend money on both Netflix and HBO GO, nor will I buy a $1K phone or $1200 GPU, even though I got the money in the bank...
 

treetops

Posts: 2,974   +744
Most original content is Garbage. I can't think of one good Amazon Prime show. I kind of like The Tick, but that's probably because I watched the cartoon when I was a kid.

Netflix has Stranger things which I could barely get through one season. Orange is the new black, it was good for a few seasons but it's been to silly for way to long. Black mirror terrible, oh social media ohhhhhkkk.

Altered Carbon was watchable.
Marco Polo watchable.
The End of the F***ing World was great.
Making a murderer is probably a great show but I already know how corrupt the system can be so idc to watch it.
But I do like the stand up specials.

Hulu
Handmaids tale, it seems like a good show.

All and all not really impressive.

Most of my favorite shows that are still running.


Happy
Legion
The Terror
Game of thrones
Walking Dead
Moonshiners
Gold Rush White water
Loggers
Vikings (might not be running anymore)
Archer
Its always sunny in philidelphia
Rick and Morty
American Gods
Corporate
Another Period
Kims Convenience
AP BIO
The Mick canceled :(
American Horror Story
Tosh.O
Ash VS Evil Dead canceled
True Detective
Mr Inbetween (giving it a chance)
Outpost (Its such a bad idk why I like it)
Better call saul
 
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OutlawCecil

Posts: 737   +562
Gotta love our laws.

Buy a DVD (legal), make a backup copy using your computer (legal in most states), share your digital copy you made to one friend or many (majorly illegal), take physical DVD to a friends party and let everybody watch it (perfectly legal)
 
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psycros

Posts: 3,134   +3,247
Imagine its 1995 and NBC decides to only make its content available if you pay an extra fee on top of your cable bill. Sharing of VHS tapes full of Friends and Seinfeld episodes would have been rampant and nothing could have stopped it - even law enforcement would have turned a blind eye. That is exactly where we're at with streaming today, with studios and distributors including *actual TV networks* now making top-tier shows available only on their streaming services. Does CBS actually believe I'm going to pay extra to watch a Star Trek show? LOL!!!
 

Evernessince

Posts: 5,109   +5,368
Imagine its 1995 and NBC decides to only make its content available if you pay an extra fee on top of your cable bill. Sharing of VHS tapes full of Friends and Seinfeld episodes would have been rampant and nothing could have stopped it - even law enforcement would have turned a blind eye. That is exactly where we're at with streaming today, with studios and distributors including *actual TV networks* now making top-tier shows available only on their streaming services. Does CBS actually believe I'm going to pay extra to watch a Star Trek show? LOL!!!
A better comparison would be having to pay for each news network by itself and have a separate set-top box for each network. With how many online channels that are popping up lately that all want your money, it's more of a hassle having to switch between each one just to get to the show you want to watch. Very inconvenient.

At the price they are charging, you'd be better off just buying the blu-ray of the show you want to watch. It would be cheaper and less of a hassle.
 
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Reehahs

Posts: 904   +566
Time and time these companies fail to realise that if you don't provide a legal option that is easier to use than piracy and affordable to the local, you will get piracy.
 
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captaincranky

Posts: 16,066   +4,866
....[ ]....At the price they are charging, you'd be better off just buying the blu-ray of the show you want to watch. It would be cheaper and less of a hassle.
Given my great strength of character, (and frugality), that's exactly what I'm doing with "Game of Thrones". I have all 7 seasons thus far, bought and stored away. I'm waiting til season 8 is out on disc, until I watch the first 7 seasons. Although, if the naked girl with the dragons doesn't get the iron throne, I may watch the 7 I have, and skip 8 altogether.

A similar thing happened with, "Andromeda". (Or, since it starred Kevin Sorbo, it was often "lovingly" called, "Hercules in Space"). Seasons 1 through 4 were pretty darn entertaining, (notice I didn't say "good"). But season 5, now there was a monumental stinker. It sucked worse than a black hole.

If you're extremely patient, and extremely frugal, (both of which I excel at), you can wait a couple of years past the last season's DVD release, and get seasons of your favorite shows for 10 or 15 bucks

(Although at my age, I might be cutting it pretty close to missing out on those box sets altogether).
 
S

senketsu

Gotta love our laws.

Buy a DVD (legal), make a backup copy using your computer (legal in most states), share your digital copy you made to one friend or many (majorly illegal), take physical DVD to a friends party and let everybody watch it (perfectly legal)
what also infuriates me is the DVD/Blu-ray Region Codes. For instance I want to legally obtain an English sub-titled anime. I can find it easily in the UK very inexpensive as well, but they are Region 2, not playable in North America, yet there is no product here for me to buy! It's like they don't want my money....
 
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ShObiT

Posts: 196   +205
what also infuriates me is the DVD/Blu-ray Region Codes. For instance I want to legally obtain an English sub-titled anime. I can find it easily in the UK very inexpensive as well, but they are Region 2, not playable in North America, yet there is no product here for me to buy! It's like they don't want my money....
Exactly, and there's always a Torrent just few click and annoying ads away...
 
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captaincranky

Posts: 16,066   +4,866
what also infuriates me is the DVD/Blu-ray Region Codes. For instance I want to legally obtain an English sub-titled anime. I can find it easily in the UK very inexpensive as well, but they are Region 2, not playable in North America, yet there is no product here for me to buy! It's like they don't want my money....
Aren't the Brit DVDs "PAL", not "NTSC"?

Once upon a time, you could change the region codes on computer DVD drives. These are fuzzy memories but IIRC, you got 6 region changes. (Never needed to try it though).

It would be a gamble, but I believe some of the available DVD rippers, remove the region code, along with the ....(oh nevermind).
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,408   +1,382
TechSpot Elite
what also infuriates me is the DVD/Blu-ray Region Codes. For instance I want to legally obtain an English sub-titled anime. I can find it easily in the UK very inexpensive as well, but they are Region 2, not playable in North America, yet there is no product here for me to buy! It's like they don't want my money....
Aren't the Brit DVDs "PAL", not "NTSC"?

Once upon a time, you could change the region codes on computer DVD drives. These are fuzzy memories but IIRC, you got 6 region changes. (Never needed to try it though).

It would be a gamble, but I believe some of the available DVD rippers, remove the region code, along with the ....(oh nevermind).
Yep, PAL = better. Never buy a North American conversion of a UK show as the framerate is screwed (25fps converted to 30fps) and for older SD material, 576p >> 480p.

No gamble my man, buy that PAL DVD from Amazon.co.uk, rip that video, and enjoy it in all it's nativeness. I have dozens of PAL DVDs ripped to my server and they look great compared to the NTSC hackjobs.
 
S

senketsu

Aren't the Brit DVDs "PAL", not "NTSC"?

Once upon a time, you could change the region codes on computer DVD drives. These are fuzzy memories but IIRC, you got 6 region changes. (Never needed to try it though).

It would be a gamble, but I believe some of the available DVD rippers, remove the region code, along with the ....(oh nevermind).
I find they all play fine on my computer which is hooked up to a ultrawide 34" monitor. That's what I use since I don't own a TV. I used to have the SlySoft software until they were shutdown. You could use it to do things like watch a Blu-ray using VLC instead of PowerDVD.;)
 
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treetops

Posts: 2,974   +744
And now we know who is a psychopath. That show is a social experiment. They wanted to see if making a show about psychopaths will produce more murders among youngsters.
Please tell me more, did your tin foil hat fall off?

P.S. Don't worry all the vigilante serial killers Dexter created will stop them.
 
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wiyosaya

Posts: 5,273   +3,382
It's the same thing over and over again. Corporations see the money on the market and believe they can swipe it for themselfes, all of it. They all believe they will take over of 99% of the market, being it video, gaming, smartphone or PCs penetration. They get too greedy. In the end They will fail. We got limited amount of disposable income. As I age I make more money, but also get more expenses towards family, house and car credit. I will not spend money on both Netflix and HBO GO, nor will I buy a $1K phone or $1200 GPU, even though I got the money in the bank...
You forgot 5G in the list of :poop: that greedy companies think they are going to milk for every consumer penny they can.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,273   +3,382
A better comparison would be having to pay for each news network by itself and have a separate set-top box for each network. With how many online channels that are popping up lately that all want your money, it's more of a hassle having to switch between each one just to get to the show you want to watch. Very inconvenient.

At the price they are charging, you'd be better off just buying the blu-ray of the show you want to watch. It would be cheaper and less of a hassle.
Or simply wait for Netflix to pick up the shows in syndication. Better yet, get yourself a library card and wait for whatever you want to see to come out on DVD or BR and get a copy from your local library.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,273   +3,382
Time and time these companies fail to realise that if you don't provide a legal option that is easier to use than piracy and affordable to the local, you will get piracy.
If you are willing to wait, there is a legal option - your local library. torrenting is for people who cannot delay gratification. :innocent:
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,273   +3,382
what also infuriates me is the DVD/Blu-ray Region Codes. For instance I want to legally obtain an English sub-titled anime. I can find it easily in the UK very inexpensive as well, but they are Region 2, not playable in North America, yet there is no product here for me to buy! It's like they don't want my money....
Any DVD HD.
I find they all play fine on my computer which is hooked up to a ultrawide 34" monitor. That's what I use since I don't own a TV. I used to have the SlySoft software until they were shutdown. You could use it to do things like watch a Blu-ray using VLC instead of PowerDVD.;)
Slysoft is still around - they were reborn. Long live Any DVD HD! https://www.redfox.bz/
 
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Evernessince

Posts: 5,109   +5,368
Or simply wait for Netflix to pick up the shows in syndication. Better yet, get yourself a library card and wait for whatever you want to see to come out on DVD or BR and get a copy from your local library.
The closest library is 21 miles away. Might as well just buy a digital copy with the price of gas.

Many shows are not picked up by netflix and many are dropped and lost forever.

Both of the proposed alternatives offer incomplete choices that are often inconvenient and cost time.

I'm a customer with money, why is it so hard to give it to these companies?
 
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Reehahs

Posts: 904   +566
If you are willing to wait, there is a legal option - your local library. torrenting is for people who cannot delay gratification. :innocent:
The legal option is often non-existent. Most people are content delaying gratification for a reasonable time not years. TV series and box sets are hardly ever bought with ever decreasing public funding. Just checked Game of Thrones box set at Cambridge Central library, the biggest library in the county. They don't have a single season in their catalogue. When there are popular items there is often a long waiting list as libraries don't want to by multiple copies which will take up space after the popularity drops off.

Therefore, torrenting is also for people who have not been given a sensible option.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,066   +4,866
The closest library is 21 miles away. Might as well just buy a digital copy with the price of gas....[ ]....
Well then, it sounds like it's time for you to dust off that 50 grand or so you've been saving for in game purchases, and spring for a shiny new Tesla Model 3.

Sorry, just breaking your ballz, I couldn't help myself, that setup was simply too ripe not to stick a fork in it. <( Yes, that is a split metaphor. Although I shouldn't have to apologize for that too).
 
This is all both inevitable and temporary. We're still in the maniacal-growth phase of streaming. Netflix got out there first, Amazon followed, now Disney-Apple-AT&T-CBS-Comcast and probably some others I'm not thinking of right now, have realized that broadcast/cable are doomed because the audience is leaving for streaming, or if they're not in that biz now, like Apple, they are opportunistically jumping into a big new revenue stream. They hope.

Now they all duke it out to see who the handful of winners will be: gargantuan global streamings services with hundreds of millions of subscribers each. There won't be many because paying customers don't want many, and those they do want, had better be big with a lot of options. In other words, forget CBS: too little, too late.

The next phase after maniacal-growth is consolidation, where the winners eat the losers. This phase is overlapping the growth phase now, with Disney buying Fox, AT&T buying Time Warner, Comcast buying Sky/NowTV and probably CBS-Viacom is next on the block (my guess is that Amazon buys them, but Apple and Netflix will join the insane bidding frenzy). Ramping up huge volumes of content is a key weapon in this battle, and if the weapons get pirated to some degree, so be it. Nobody's going to drop out of this fight because of piracy. This is a real win-or-die scenario.

In the end, I think Apple will drop out, Comcast will get out of the content business, and the winners roster will be Netflix-Amazon-Disney-AT&T. That's a manageable number of services for people to subscribe to, maybe rotating in and out, maybe just ignoring one or two. And maybe pirating stuff along the way, but piracy didn't stop the emergence of streaming behemoths, and it won't stop their success, so does it really matter at all?
 
A better comparison would be having to pay for each news network by itself and have a separate set-top box for each network. With how many online channels that are popping up lately that all want your money, it's more of a hassle having to switch between each one just to get to the show you want to watch. Very inconvenient.

At the price they are charging, you'd be better off just buying the blu-ray of the show you want to watch. It would be cheaper and less of a hassle.
Or simply wait for Netflix to pick up the shows in syndication. Better yet, get yourself a library card and wait for whatever you want to see to come out on DVD or BR and get a copy from your local library.
Libraries are a surprisingly good source. Netflix still rents Ye Olde DVDs too.