Netflix: the platform gains subscribers thanks to pirate boxes, this study proves it

A study of 10,337 US households shows that streaming boxes (Kodi in this case) are not as harmful to legal streaming platforms as the latter would like to say. On the contrary…

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Like any technological advance, the arrival of streaming has made it possible to provide access to a phenomenal amount of content (audio and/or video) to billions of people. Every medal has its downside: streaming has amplified the phenomenon of piracy. Until now, it was fashionable to consider these illegal streaming offers as totally harmful and, ultimately, as an existential danger for the creation of content. The conclusions of the study “The Impact of Video Piracy on Content Producers and Distributors” (Impact of Videopiracy on Content Producers and Distributors) published by Zachary Nolan, Haoran Zhang and Jonathan Williams contradict this current of thought.

To read : 1 out of 2 French people subscribe to a streaming service

According to the researchers, the use of illegal streaming boxes based on Kodi or Plex (these media players themselves are not illegal) is not not incompatible with subscription to legal platforms such as Netflix. On the contrary, the more the piracy phenomenon progresses, the more streaming platforms register new customers. Viewers using this type of box simply watch more pirated content, more Netflix, more YouTube… In a word, they consume more. Which is good for the economy.

Pirate box users consume less TV and more Internet

The data collected by academics concern consumption habits of more than 10,000 households between 2017 and 2018. Enough to get a good picture of their motivations and their mode of operation. Of these, the easiest to analyze are TV viewing and Internet usage habits. After acquiring a Kodi box, the data consumption of each household increased by 2.88 GB/day on average. While a good portion of the data consumption was dedicated to pirated content, analysts noted that the bandwidth was largely used for watching YouTube (0.57 GB) and Netflix (0.52 GB).

The ever tougher competition between Amazon Prime, Netflix and other Disney+ is therefore good for the consumer, who does not hesitate to mix up his consumption between legal services and pirate boxes. In this context, according to the authors of the study, there is no evidence that piracy negatively impacts profits content producers. They state: “As has been the case in many piracy cases in the past, there is no concrete evidence that demonstrates any economic harm”.

Source : The Impact of Video Piracy on Content Producers and Distributors

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