How Does Netflix Determine What Shows To Buy? By Looking At What's Being Pirated

The streaming service aims to combat online piracy by providing legal options for watching shows and movies.

How does Netflix decide what shows to bring to the streaming service? Partially by looking at what's being pirated, an executive told Dutch site Tweakers.net.

"With the purchase of series, we look at what it does well on piracy sites," said Kelly Merryman, Netflix's vice president of content acquisition. Last week, the service rolled out in the Netherlands, where online piracy remains rampant and a political party has formed around the issue. Netflix aims to combat piracy by providing legal options for viewing entertainment online. In Canada, traffic for BitTorrent has fallen 50% since Netflix entered the country three years ago, according to CEO Reed Hastings.

The popularity of Prison Break on piracy sites is one of the reasons why Netflix acquired the rights to the show in the Netherlands. Merryman did note certain types of content that Netflix has little interest in. "There are many programs that we will not buy, such as The Voice. Such live programs are better suited for live TVs. [It's] why we do not focus on sporting events, news programs, and concert recordings."

[Image: Flickr user ozcast]

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