Editor's take: Popcorn Time, once viewed as the Napster for movies, has reached the end of the road. The entertainment landscape has changed significantly since 2014 when the app first launched. Just like with music, the public has exhibited a willingness to pay for content when affordable, convenient and legal alternatives exist. The current market affords consumers with a deluge of streaming video services to choose from, resulting in today's announcement.
The application arrived on the scene in February 2014 with the goal of simplifying the process of watching pirated movies and television shows online.
In an interview with Torrent Freak shortly after launch, one of the product’s developers said everyone that worked on Popcorn Time was a big movie fan and most had Netflix accounts. The dev believed that going to the cinema was the best way to experience a movie, but that’s not always an option which is where Popcorn Time came in.
“We hate that we don’t have the chance to watch some movies at home. Popcorn Time is an experiment to show that you can do something better for the users, and that you can do it with BitTorrent,” the dev said.
Naturally, Hollywood wasn’t high on this idea, and the original app was quickly taken down. Supporters persisted and soon enough, multiple forks were developed that kept the concept alive. Plenty of legal challenges would follow, but that wouldn't be the service's downfall.
The Popcorn Time team told Torrent Freak that decreased interest from the pirating community led them to shut the service down.
"It’s time to say goodbye," the team noted. "The world doesn’t need Popcorn Time anymore."
Image credit: Pavel Danilyuk