Have you heard about Popcorn Time? I’m not going to go on record and advocate piracy, but I understand why someone created such a service. If you want to stream a movie or show, you would need a Netflix account for $7.99. But here’s the thing, Netflix, like all the other streaming services have to license content. That means that after a while, the content expires and you won’t be able to see that movie you wanted to. Also, not every studio wants to license content to Netflix. So, then you subscribe to Hulu Plus, which also costs $7.99 a month. But the same thing occurs with Hulu Plus; limited content.
Turns out that Netflix and Hulu have different shows that you like, but not your favorite movie from the 80s, so you sign up for Amazon Prime, which right now costs $79.99 a year (but will go up soon to $99). Not to mention if you have cable, which probably costs you about $70+ a month. Things quickly add up.
Consumers are annoyed by this. How many services do we need to sign up with just to watch a movie? I haven’t event talked about Redbox Instant yet! It’s insane. It costs money and it’s cumbersome. All these studios and companies are vying for a piece of the pie, while we, the consumers, suffer this madness.
On top of that, after a movie leaves the theaters, it stays in a sort of limbo state for weeks before it is released in Blu Ray and DVD. Nowadays, that’s just ridiculous.
Enter the Pirates
Popcorn Time, which again is a quasi-illegal service, allows you to instantly stream movies. I haven’t used it, but by the pictures I’ve seen, the interface is sleek and easy. It looks like Netflix. Popcorn Time works by streaming torrents, but instead of using a torrent client (like BitTorrent) and making the user stream the content on their player, Popcorn time does it all in the background. All the user see is the elegant interface. It’s beautiful. The makers don’t host any of the files, nor do they profit from the program, which makes Hollywood lawyers want to pull their hair.
Even if Popcorn Time is eventually shut down by the Hollywood powers that be, a new program will emerge and take its place. The same thing happened with Napster. After its demise, Limewire, Kazaa and a myriad of others took its place. It can’t be stopped.
I hope Hollywood pays attention and comes up with a solution that is simple and elegant, and without having to jump from provider to provider, just like the pirates envisioned.
*the picture is from TechCrunch