Bittorrent’s inventor recently told the BBC that video quality is a major reason for why people chose to pirate.
Bram Cohen is the inventor of Bittorrent and its lead scientist. In a recent interview on BBC’s Click, he explains why he believes that despite the growing availability of on demand streaming services like Netflix, people still prefer to pirate. “The fact is that by using BitTorrent it’s possible to give customers a much better experience with much less cost than has ever been possible before. It’s really not being utilized properly and that’s really unfortunate,” Cohen says.
The numbers tell that the pirates agree: The finale of the latest season of Game of Thrones was pirated more than 5 million times. More notably, Newscorp CEO Robert Thompson estimates that 20% of those who had already paid for the show chose to pirate it anyway. Those statistics follow the same pattern for other shows, like Breaking Bad.
Cohen explains what part of the experience Netflix is lacking: “I actually don’t have a TV at home myself, but I do watch stuff on Netflix and I find it very frustrating because the video quality is really terrible.” There you have it. He goes on to admit that if he weren’t in the spotlight, he’d probably be pirating too: “I really go out of my way to not do the slightest hint of pirating anything ever, but if I were just some nobody [...] I would probably pirate some of the stuff that I can watch on Netflix and already paid for, because I’d like to watch it in higher resolution.”