Piracy is Making a Comeback Thanks to an Overload of Online Streaming
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Some reasons for the revival of BitTorrent and piracy include the exclusivity of content and the price tag of access to the many streaming services available.
Piracy on the internet was fairly common years ago, but it slowed down with the rise of legitimate online streaming options. Nowadays, there are more and more of these options, as every major company wants to have their own streaming service, many with exclusive rights to their own content. And now, piracy seems to be becoming popular once more.
According to The Global Internet Phenomena Report (released by network equipment company Sandvine), the use of BitTorrent is rising among internet users today. BitTorrent, if you recall, is a peer-to-peer file sharing website where people on the internet can share and distribute information, making it a perfect tool for piracy. In 2011, BitTorrent was hot and made up 52.01% of upstream traffic in the USA on fixed broadcast networks (according to Sandvine). This figure dropped to 26.83% in 2015, just around the time when cheap and good quality streaming services were making their debuts. Today, the trend is reversing and BitTorrent now makes up 32% of the total global upstream network traffic.
Some reasons for the revival of BitTorrent and piracy include the exclusivity of content and the price tag of access to the many streaming services available.This can be seen for example with Disney, who will be withdrawing their content from Netflix when they release their own streaming site at some point this year. Examples of other exclusive content include Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale and HBO’s Game of Thrones, or the many Netflix originals that the company produces and streams.
These companies want to have good quality exclusive content to draw in subscribers, but no one wants to pay for a million services because the price adds up. Consumers have only a certain amount of disposable income, and why would they want to use it on something they could find for free? On top of it all, trying to figure out which service has the particular show or movie you want to watch can be tiresome. So it seems that folks are starting to only legitimately subscribe to and pay for one service or two and then pirate the rest of the content they want to see.
Consumers were first drawn to streaming services because they offered an inexpensive and easy way to access high quality content. Now, as more and more options become available, all with exclusive rights to content and a fee to watch, more and more subscribers will start to part ways with the legitimate streaming options and move back to piracy.
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