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Netflix Uses Pirate Sites to Determine What Shows to Buy

This week Netflix rolled out its video streaming service in the Netherlands where it hopes to build a massive user base in the years to come. One of the keys to achieve this goal is getting the rights to the most popular movies and TV-shows, and this is where pirate sites come in. Netflix Vice President of Content Acquisition Kelly Merryman says that popularity on file-sharing platforms determines in part what TV-series the company buys.

Video streaming giant Netflix sees itself as one of the most prominent competitors to the many pirate sites that offer video content without owners’ permission. However, these pirate sites also offer Netflix valuable information as to what video content they should acquire for their service.

This week Netflix rolled out its service in the Netherlands and the company’s Vice President of Content Acquisition, Kelly Merryman, says that their offering is partly based on what shows do well on BitTorrent networks and other pirate sites.

“With the purchase of series, we look at what does well on piracy sites,” Merryman told Tweakers.

One of the shows that Netflix acquired the rights to in the Netherlands is Prison Break, since it is heavily pirated locally. “Prison Break is exceptionally popular on piracy sites,” Merryman says.

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Originally posted to ShockandAwed on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 12:51 PM PDT.

Also republished by National Patent and Copyright Reform.

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