Thought piracy was dead? Not for television, and not for Netflix.
Here’s one downside to paid-only platforms: rampant piracy. That’s right: even at a $9.99 monthly rate, people will heavily torrent. Case in point: the Netflix series Narcos, which chronicles the rise of Pablo Escobar and the Colombian drug cartels in the 90s.
Once upon a time, Netflix wasn’t dedicating resources to fix piracy. But that was before the company started investing in original content. Now, Netflix is actively combating piracy issues and committing their own actors to the cause.
It’s all part of a concerted effort to stamp out video piracy. That includes everything from television series to movies, all of which are now easily traded across high-speed connections and torrent networks.
Bad memories for the music industry.
Back in the day, piracy was brutalizing music sales. And Hollywood and television were only spared by heavier video files, which were difficult to trade. Fast-forward to the present, and piracy has become more of a sideshow for many music industry executives. In fact, one top executive told DMN that piracy has become ‘like speeding’ for many content owners — a far less serious problem that doesn’t require an army to combat.
Part of the reason is that free streaming platforms are now ubiquitous in music, starting with YouTube. Spotify’s free tier is also a major part of this discussion, with piracy becoming an inferior solution compared to ad-supported streaming.
All of which puts ‘freemium’ in a different light.
Currently, the music industry is furious at YouTube over sub-par royalties, though few would debate the platform’s impact on piracy. But Spotify has a different take: according to them, free access leads to paid access, and ‘freemium’ is a critical part of getting people to pay for music again.
Sounds better than murder.