Netflix Uses Piracy Websites To Determine Which Shows To Purchase

If you’re reading this in the Netherlands, congratulations, you just got Netflix for the first time. Now you’ll never be at a loss for mediocre stand-up specials from the late 1990s. Your nation-wide rollout was helpful to those of us who don’t live in the Low Countries, too, because earlier this week, Kelly Merryman, Netflix’s VP of Content Acquisition, revealed “their offering is partly based on what shows do well on BitTorrent networks and other pirate sites.”

One of the shows that Netflix acquired the rights to in the Netherlands is Prison Break, since it is heavily pirated locally. “Prison Break is exceptionally popular on piracy sites,” Merryman says.

In a separate interview Netflix CEO Reed Hastings adds that his company is aware of the many people who download content without permission via torrent sites. However, this is not exclusively a bad thing, as it also creates demand for the content Netflix is offering.

“Certainly there’s some torrenting that goes on, and that’s true around the world, but some of that just creates the demand,” Hastings says. (Via)

The moral of the story here: illegally download Work It!, and Netflix will acquire the rights. WAY ahead of you.