Today Netflix UK announced that it would ‘air’ the final half of Breaking Bad Season 5 just after the episodes have aired in the US. Whilst this isn’t the first time Netflix has done this The Killing is syndicated to the UK in the same way, but Breaking Bad is much bigger.
This could be game changing.
TV shows are some of the most sought after content through illegal means such as Torrents and Newsgroups. So much so that lists of the ‘most pirated TV shows’ are a regular occurrence, it doesn’t take a data analyst to see that people want the latest episode as soon as it’s available and by the cheapest means possible.
I am incredibly excited at the prospect of studios finally beginning to understand that access to content such as TV shows and Movies play a huge role in piracy. Just check out this comic from the Oatmeal and you’ll get what I mean.
Whilst Sky have done a pretty good job with airing highly sought after shows such as ‘Game of Thrones’ a day after the US episode has aired; many people don’t have Sky and many more don’t want to pay the £15-20 a month for it either. But there are plenty of people who still want to watch it, in fact the HBO series was downloaded 4.28m times in 2012, with London topping worldwide cities for pirating of programme according to The Guardian.
This is where Netflix is beginning to show a real advantage: It’s cost-effective at £6 a month with no contract, you can watch the episodes as many times as you like, it’s accessible on a plethora of devices, and now it has the influence to acquire the rights to big shows like Breaking Bad. Not only that but the episodes will be available as soon as the episode have aired in the states – faster than if they were to be pirated.
Now we just need to see concurrent worldwide airing of TV shows; then we’ll see how TV show piracy fairs (My bet: not well).