21 votes

‘The Office’ piracy skyrocketed in the US after leaving Netflix

23 comments

  1. [17]
    sleepydave
    Link
    Seems like a bit of a "no sh*t Sherlock" situation to me - did NBC think that migrating an iconic series from one of the most popular streaming platforms to their little-known branded service...

    Seems like a bit of a "no sh*t Sherlock" situation to me - did NBC think that migrating an iconic series from one of the most popular streaming platforms to their little-known branded service would drive up viewership? There's already enough fragmentation in the streaming space, I can see why a torrent client + VPN is easier and cheaper than managing 5+ streaming platform subscriptions in terms of getting access to everything.

    15 votes
    1. [2]
      Thra11
      Link Parent
      From NBC's point of view, viewership is important, but it's not their ultimate aim. It's technically possible that even if NBC can't successfully bring 100% of the office audience over to their...

      did NBC think that migrating an iconic series from one of the most popular streaming platforms to their little-known branded service would drive up viewership?

      From NBC's point of view, viewership is important, but it's not their ultimate aim. It's technically possible that even if NBC can't successfully bring 100% of the office audience over to their platform, they still benefit from having it there. It all depends how many new subscribers they did manage to bring over, and what sort of licensing deal they had with Netflix beforehand.

      8 votes
      1. babypuncher
        Link Parent
        Yeah, if the amount of Peacock subscription revenue brought in by The Office exceeds the licensing fees Netflix was paying, then NBC comes out ahead. Everything else is irrelevant.

        Yeah, if the amount of Peacock subscription revenue brought in by The Office exceeds the licensing fees Netflix was paying, then NBC comes out ahead. Everything else is irrelevant.

        10 votes
    2. [3]
      babypuncher
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      This is a rather controversial aspect of the platform, but if you buy all your subscriptions on iOS then Apple makes it trivially easy to pause or cancel all of them in one place, with no...

      This is a rather controversial aspect of the platform, but if you buy all your subscriptions on iOS then Apple makes it trivially easy to pause or cancel all of them in one place, with no obnoxious dark patterns getting in the way and making it difficult. I mix my streaming subscriptions up all the time now based on what I want to watch over the next month or two.

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        Why is that controversial? I enjoy the feature a lot.

        Why is that controversial? I enjoy the feature a lot.

        1 vote
        1. babypuncher
          Link Parent
          It only works because Apple forces developers to handle in-app purchases and subscriptions using Apple's payment processing API, which takes a chunk of the profit.

          It only works because Apple forces developers to handle in-app purchases and subscriptions using Apple's payment processing API, which takes a chunk of the profit.

          8 votes
    3. [11]
      hungariantoast
      Link Parent
      Considering that the only torrent clients worth using are free-and-open-source, and that reliable and recommended VPNs can be had for about sixty dollars a year, even Netflix's cheapest...

      Considering that the only torrent clients worth using are free-and-open-source, and that reliable and recommended VPNs can be had for about sixty dollars a year, even Netflix's cheapest subscription at nine dollars per month is more expensive than what it costs to be a pirate. If you want to live dangerously, the VPN isn't even necessary. You could also just use a free VPN if you're okay with whatever that entails.

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        alexandria
        Link Parent
        That's not true, though. To quote this one hacker news comment:

        That's not true, though. To quote this one hacker news comment:

        Netflix shuffles media constantly, you have to subscribe to five different streaming sites to watch a show and even then it could disappear next month, and you can't share the account with anyone else. To get good coverage of streaming services you need to subscribe to several.

        Meanwhile in piracy land, you sign up to a seedbox, press a button to set up Plex+Sonarr/Radarr, then you're done. Type in the names of the things you want, share it with as many people as you want, etc. Literally all you have to bother with is disk usage and most of the sites I looked at last month had a minimum offering of 500GiB, some boasting 1TB of disk space -- so even that isn't much of a problem.

        Streaming services (Netflix ($9) + Disney ($7ish) + Amazon ($13)): $27

        A Randomly-chosen Popular Seedbox: $17.89/mo

        That includes Plex + etc + 4TB Disk. One-button setup for all the supported services.

        So like I said, all this measure does is drive people to piracy. They're literally faceplanting on their way to extract more and more money from people.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          hungariantoast
          Link Parent
          Which part of my comment is not true though? The bit about piracy being free? Seedboxes are not necessary, neither is Plex, Sonarr, etc. You can just use your phone or personal computer with a...

          Which part of my comment is not true though? The bit about piracy being free?

          Seedboxes are not necessary, neither is Plex, Sonarr, etc. You can just use your phone or personal computer with a free torrent client (like qBittorrent) and be a pirate. Seedboxes are only necessary for certain private trackers that require you to maintain an upload/download ratio. Free public trackers (Pirate Bay, RARBG, etc.) have no such requirement. You're not obligated to upload files back to the swarm.

          4 votes
          1. Tardigrade
            Link Parent
            Also you don't need to download it for it to be piracy when there's illegal streams that count as piracy.

            Also you don't need to download it for it to be piracy when there's illegal streams that count as piracy.

            1 vote
      2. [7]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        Sadly 60 dollars a year is no longer affordable for many in Brazil. That's about 300 Brazilian Reais.

        sixty dollars a year

        Sadly 60 dollars a year is no longer affordable for many in Brazil. That's about 300 Brazilian Reais.

        1. [6]
          hungariantoast
          Link Parent
          Using a VPN might not even be recommended in Brazil 🤷‍♂️

          Using a VPN might not even be recommended in Brazil 🤷‍♂️

          2 votes
          1. [5]
            mrbig
            Link Parent
            How come? :/

            How come? :/

            1. [2]
              Tardigrade
              Link Parent
              Depends how likely you are to get a cease and decist cause if there's no chance there's no point.

              Depends how likely you are to get a cease and decist cause if there's no chance there's no point.

              3 votes
              1. mrbig
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                Most certainly possible, see my other answer. Not super likely, but probable enough to make me afraid.

                Most certainly possible, see my other answer. Not super likely, but probable enough to make me afraid.

                1 vote
            2. [2]
              hungariantoast
              Link Parent
              The gist of it is that a VPN stops your public IP address from being associated with the downloading and uploading of copyright infringing data, because any peers you connect to while the VPN is...

              The gist of it is that a VPN stops your public IP address from being associated with the downloading and uploading of copyright infringing data, because any peers you connect to while the VPN is active will see the VPN IP and not your own.

              In the US this is mostly just a way to prevent copyright holders from alerting your ISP that you're sharing copyright infringing data. This prevents your ISP from sending you scary letters and emails, and potentially cancelling your service.

              In Brazil, I don't know if an ISP would care if they were notified that their customers were pirating media, so a VPN might not even be necessary.

              2 votes
              1. mrbig
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                More and more torrent users are being sued for copyright infringement every day in Brazil (it's been in the news), to the point that I'm weary of risking myself. I wouldn't have the money to pay...

                More and more torrent users are being sued for copyright infringement every day in Brazil (it's been in the news), to the point that I'm weary of risking myself. I wouldn't have the money to pay the fine for something like that. My mom asked me to download the Oscar movies and I said no...

                4 votes
  2. [6]
    Eabryt
    Link
    First thing I did when they announced it was leaving was go find it elsewhere. I mean, um, I pay for peacock and don't have a Plex server anywhere.

    First thing I did when they announced it was leaving was go find it elsewhere.

    I mean, um, I pay for peacock and don't have a Plex server anywhere.

    3 votes
    1. [5]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      Honestly, this is the one part of this story that I just don't get. Why do people need to keep watching the same shows over and over again? Doesn't it get boring after a while? There is so much...

      Honestly, this is the one part of this story that I just don't get. Why do people need to keep watching the same shows over and over again? Doesn't it get boring after a while?

      There is so much content being produced right now. If I were to dedicate all of my free time, I still wouldn't be able to keep up with every show I wanted to on Netflix alone.

      I could get it if it's a show that you love so much that you want to be able to watch it whenever you felt like it, but if that's the case, why not just buy it? If you get it on physical media, nobody will ever be able to take it away from you.

      And for the record, I'm not trying to shame anyone who's pirating it. Frankly the current price of the Blu-Ray box set is way too damn high. I just want to understand why people keep needing to watch reruns instead of finding new things that will make them happy.

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        Tardigrade
        Link Parent
        There's a study I read about how the familiarity in watching something where you know what happens reduces anxiety in your mind with the world being very uncertain and causing stress it's...

        There's a study I read about how the familiarity in watching something where you know what happens reduces anxiety in your mind with the world being very uncertain and causing stress it's understandable a little comfort and familiarity in the background is nice.

        9 votes
        1. Akir
          Link Parent
          That actually makes sense to me. Thanks for the insight.

          That actually makes sense to me. Thanks for the insight.

          2 votes
      2. Micycle_the_Bichael
        Link Parent
        I rewatch content all the time and it usually falls into one of two categories: My ADHD is throwing a fit and I need some extra stimulation. Usually what I'll be looking for is something that will...

        I rewatch content all the time and it usually falls into one of two categories:

        1. My ADHD is throwing a fit and I need some extra stimulation. Usually what I'll be looking for is something that will run for a long time and makes background noise while I'm doing something else like failing at knitting. I don't want to put on a new show because I know I'm not really paying attention to it and I want to dedicate my full attention to new shows. So I throw on something I've already seen.

        2. When my anxiety is bad but I want to watch something. You never know what kind of crazy shit could happen in a new show, but that show you've already seen? You know exactly what's going to happen, no surprises to make your anxiety worse.

        6 votes
      3. Eabryt
        Link Parent
        Honestly a lot of the time it'll go on in the background while cleaning or even sometimes if working late. Also, sometimes at the end of a stressful day/week I just want to be able to put on some...

        Honestly a lot of the time it'll go on in the background while cleaning or even sometimes if working late. Also, sometimes at the end of a stressful day/week I just want to be able to put on some sort of noise that doesn't require me to think too much and will make me laugh.

        I'd consider buying it except that I'm not actually sure I have a way to play physical media.

        4 votes