Broadcasting Blackout Caused Piracy SpikeWhile the entertainment industry claims that pirates steal content for fun and profit, there is another look into the psychology of peer-to-peer in the United States. The latest study suggests that people turn to online piracy when the material they want is otherwise unavailable.
For more than a week, over 3,000,000 Time Warner customers across the US lost access to CBS programming. As a result, the number of illegal downloads from affected regions rocketed.
For example, the piracy rates of the popular show called “Under The Dome” rose 34% over the last weekend, while official ratings decreased. This proves the idea that one of the main reasons Internet users pirate content is its availability. In case they can’t receive the desired content when and how they want, they will pirate it. A great example of this rule is Game of Thrones – indeed, network quibbling about regional rights led to many international audiences just torrenting it instead.
Now CBS blacked out in some regions when TWC dropped the former because the parties failed to reach a broadcasting agreement. In the meantime, Under The Dome appeared to be one of the most pirated TV shows now with 11% of downloaders originating from the blackout regions, but this figure rose to almost 15% for the recent episode. New Yorkers saw their piracy rate more than double, from 1.3% of all American downloads to 3% for the episode which aired after the blackout.
Piracy spiked, and official ratings took a large hit. For instance, Under The Dome fell to a season low, with just 10.5 million viewers compared to 11.5 million last week. In other words, while TWC and CBS are arguing with each other, they are losing legal consumers to piracy. So, no-one can blame peer-to-peer and piracy generally, because it’s just about customers unwilling to wait for the industry to stop playing silly buggers.