Sunday, December 29, 2013

Illegal Video Downloads Continue Upward Trajectory; New York Times, 12/27/13

Nick Bilton, New York Time; Illegal Video Downloads Continue Upward Trajectory: "Some content creators finally admitted that illegal downloads aren’t all bad. In September, a senior Netflix executive said the company used pirating websites to determine the genre of new shows viewers might be interested in. “With the purchase of a series, we look at what does well on piracy sites,” said Kelly Merryman, vice president of content acquisition at Netflix. HBO also acknowledged that piracy can be great free advertising. Time Warner’s chief executive, Jeffrey L. Bewkes, said on an earnings call that pirated content can be “a tremendous word-of-mouth thing.” And David Petrarca, the director of Game of Thrones, said during a panel discussion at Perth’s Writers Festival, that theft can create “cultural buzz” around a show that traditional methods can not. Those statements seemed like a breath of fresh air. Content companies like HBO could probably do more to decrease illegal downloads, namely by giving consumers more legal access points to shows. But but doing that, the companies would probably lose out on some of the underground attention that they also value."

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