Streaming Media

Netflix Checks Piracy Stats Before Deciding Which Shows to Buy

Ever wonder how Netflix decides what shows to buy? Well, among a myriad of factors, the company apparently looks at what’s popular on torrenting sites and goes from there. In an interview with Tweakers, Netflix VP of Content Acquisition flatout said the company looks at what does well on piracy sites when considering what shows to buy. It allegedly lead to Netflix buying Prison Break, which was frequently torrented overseas.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings also chimed in on the subject, saying piracy helps create demand; the company just capitalizes on that demand by securing rights to the show, which users can then watch in bulk rather than risking legal consequences. International rights are reportedly easier to acquire, though not every show is for sale. HBO’s Game of Thrones, a commonly pirated show, is one prime example.

Over the years, Netflix has built a solid reputation for its library of content. Recently, the streaming service has even begun to offer original shows, which have done quite well among audiences. So what shows is everyone watching these days? If it’s not on Netflix now, it could be down the road if piracy numbers are high.