I’m ratting myself out. I’ve used torrents and have downloaded content in the past. Before Crunchyroll became legit and Dramafever came on the scene, I was itching for foreign dramas and anime. Thankfully, instead of suing fans, legal means were created for those of us needing to satisfy that itch. And there are a growing number of services continuing to offer digital content.
Netflix is taking an interesting approach to piracy by monitoring what European Bittorrent users are downloading. You’d think corporations and governments would understand piracy will not simply go away, despite the barrage of laws and Internet users getting sued. Netflix in the U.S. is earning itself new users constantly, but even it, and other services like it, are a thorn in cable’s side. Not everyone wants to be hooked up to cable, and if digital streaming services are constantly blocked for new content the next step is more than likely piracy.
I’m not defending those who are too cheap to buy an easily available DVD or subscription (or those who expect free things), I just understand the frustration of being in an ignored market. Netflix is capitalizing on that market. I’m not subscribed to Netflix but I do applaud the hard work they put into developing and understanding their market. And apparently their approach is working as premium cable channel subscriptions drop and Netflix continues to grow.
I’m waiting for the day when cord-cutters can easily watch popular U.S. shows without needing a cable service or waiting months to watch it or sacrificing quality. Unfortunately we have a long way to go. And too bad if you are a cord-cutter and have Comcast Internet service — no speed boost for you (and if you live where my mother does you are pretty much forced to use Comcast, which stinks).
While the big companies battle it out for how to share content, some users (cord-cutters like myself) will continue to push for better options through voting with our dollars. I’m lucky that the anime industry is starting to catch on — for the most part, I no longer need to download content out of my reach. Arrgh!