How Netflix Uses Piracy to Pick Its Programming

Company looks at what's popular on illegal services in determining what shows to buy, according to Netflix exec

Netflix examines what’s popular on Internet piracy sites as part of its content-development strategy, according to a company executive.

In addition what’s popular among TV viewers in a given country, “when purchasing series, we look at what does well on piracy sites,” Netflix VP of content acquisition Kelly Merryman said, according to a translation of her comments to Tweakers, a technology website based in the Netherlands.

Netflix launched in the Netherlands this week, the 41st country where it has rolled out, offering its service for €7.99 per month (about $10.59 U.S.).

For the Dutch market, Netflix acquired the rights to “Prison Break” specifically because it has been very popular on pirate sites, Merryman said in the Tweakers interview. The show, which aired in the U.S. on Fox, was produced by 20th Century Fox Television.

SEE ALSO: Netflix’s ‘House of Cards’ Falls Prey to Piracy

Netflix execs have previously claimed that piracy rates decline in countries after it launches. Indeed, CEO Reed Hastings claimed that BitTorrent usage in Canada dropped 50% following the streaming service’s launch in the country.

“Netflix is so much easier than (using BitTorrent),” Hastings said in a separate interview with Tweakers. “You don’t have to deal with files, you don’t have to download them and move them around. You just click and watch.”

Watch the Hastings interview:

More Digital

  • Netflix Reed Hastings

    Netflix Stock Closes at All-Time High, Nudging Market Cap Ahead of Disney's Again

    Netflix examines what’s popular on Internet piracy sites as part of its content-development strategy, according to a company executive. In addition what’s popular among TV viewers in a given country, “when purchasing series, we look at what does well on piracy sites,” Netflix VP of content acquisition Kelly Merryman said, according to a translation of her comments […]

  • Despacito

    Two French Teens Arrested in Connection With Vevo Hack That Defaced 'Despacito,' Other YouTube Music Videos

    Netflix examines what’s popular on Internet piracy sites as part of its content-development strategy, according to a company executive. In addition what’s popular among TV viewers in a given country, “when purchasing series, we look at what does well on piracy sites,” Netflix VP of content acquisition Kelly Merryman said, according to a translation of her comments […]

  • International Newswire: Netflix-Movistar + - Is

    International Newswire: Is Drama the New Soccer of Europe?

    Netflix examines what’s popular on Internet piracy sites as part of its content-development strategy, according to a company executive. In addition what’s popular among TV viewers in a given country, “when purchasing series, we look at what does well on piracy sites,” Netflix VP of content acquisition Kelly Merryman said, according to a translation of her comments […]

  • TotalBiscuit - John Bain

    John 'TotalBiscuit' Bain, YouTube Gamer and Commentator, Dead at 33

    Netflix examines what’s popular on Internet piracy sites as part of its content-development strategy, according to a company executive. In addition what’s popular among TV viewers in a given country, “when purchasing series, we look at what does well on piracy sites,” Netflix VP of content acquisition Kelly Merryman said, according to a translation of her comments […]

  • EU flagsEU flags outside the European

    Startups, Media Companies Block European Users in Wake of New Privacy Laws

    Netflix examines what’s popular on Internet piracy sites as part of its content-development strategy, according to a company executive. In addition what’s popular among TV viewers in a given country, “when purchasing series, we look at what does well on piracy sites,” Netflix VP of content acquisition Kelly Merryman said, according to a translation of her comments […]

  • Reddit website

    Reddit Is Testing Community Chat Rooms to Take on Discord

    Netflix examines what’s popular on Internet piracy sites as part of its content-development strategy, according to a company executive. In addition what’s popular among TV viewers in a given country, “when purchasing series, we look at what does well on piracy sites,” Netflix VP of content acquisition Kelly Merryman said, according to a translation of her comments […]

  • League of Legends Championship Series North

    ESPN+ to Live-Stream 'League of Legends' Esports Events Under New, Non-Exclusive Pact

    Netflix examines what’s popular on Internet piracy sites as part of its content-development strategy, according to a company executive. In addition what’s popular among TV viewers in a given country, “when purchasing series, we look at what does well on piracy sites,” Netflix VP of content acquisition Kelly Merryman said, according to a translation of her comments […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content