Netflix is one of the most clear alternatives when it comes to Internet TV. It is probably the most known OTT (Over-the-top) video provider and its success in the United States has led to its expansion all over the world. The best result of Netflix landing in different countries is how it affects the use of piracy in order to access movies and TV shows. Usually, the months following the birth of Netflix in a new area experience a drop in Internet piracy.
It is true that Netflix was founded in the late 90s, but their service then was way different, and less convenient. For those who don’t know, Netflix started offering DVD rentals and sales in 1998. It wasn’t until 2007 that they began offering video streaming in the way we know today, and the popularity it has reached started raising a few years ago. That’s precisely the moment in which the downloads in North America began changing the source, from a 30% for OTT video to the 61% we got last year.
Another case is Australia. The ‘Netflix effect’ here is clear. The service arrived to Australia in March, 2015. According to a poll from the IP Awareness Foundation, for the first time in years, in 2015 the piracy not only stopped raising, but even dropped. Just 25% of Australians aged 18-64 recognized using piracy in 2015, when the number was 29% in 2014, the year before Netflix appeared in the country.
A few days ago, and responding to a ‘threat’ already made in January, Netflix cut down the access to Netflix US from Canada. Before this happened, many Canadians used a VPN to get into the American version of Netflix because the content is different. Netflix was not happy with this and put a whole team working on a way to stop them from doing so. It will be interesting to see the effects of this in the Canadian piracy -maybe we will notice a rise in illegal actions again?
What seems obvious is that Netflix will change the traditional TV market in ways that we are just beginning to imagine. Even though it is positive that Netflix fights piracy wherever they go, they also make old TV less attractive, especially for young users. With subscriptions growing every month, a lot of people are beginning to see traditional TV, which offers less options, unnecessary.