If you've ever found yourself wondering how exactly Netflix manages to, time after time again, select all of the excellent content they do, then today is a good day for you: According to a company executive, the streaming giant simply takes a look at piracy websites—AKA, all the sites where people are watching content illegally—to see what's performing well, and what isn't. And, clearly, it works.
"When purchasing series, we look at what does well on piracy sites," the executive, Netflix VP of content acquisition Kelly Merryman said in an interview with the Dutch site Tweakers to promote the launch of Netflix in The Netherlands.
By buying content that is popular with those pirating TV shows and movies, Netflix executives claim that piracy rates decline in countries where Netflix is available—according to CEO Reed Hastings, usage of BitTorrent dropped 50% in Canada after Netflix launched there.
"Netflix is so much easier than (using BitTorrent)...you don’t have to deal with files, you don’t have to download them and move them around. You just click and watch." Considering people scoff at the idea of waiting more than a millisecond for anything these days, it is a convincing argument.