Since its creation, Netflix has always positioned itself as an alternative to piracy. The idea was that by offering its legal, practical streaming service with a rich catalog, the platform could keep Internet users away from illegal services. And it works. But at the same time, Netflix continues to be threatened by its historic competitor, piracy, while it must also remain competitive with new legal offers, such as Apple TV+ or Disney+.
To be clear, Netflix is holding its own. Last quarter, for example, SVOD added 13 million new members (better than analysts expected) to reach a total of 260.3 million subscribers worldwide. And, at the same time, the platform's revenues increased by 12%. But, in a document recently published by the American authorities, the “10-K” form, the platform also mentions competition.
As the TorrentFreak site explains, it is a document that publicly traded companies must file in order to give investors an overall view of the activities. And in the “competition” section of this document, Netflix mentions both legal competitors and pirate sites. “The different business models that underpin these channels include subscription, transactional, ad-supported and piracy-based models. All of these elements have the potential to conquer significant segments of the entertainment video market”, we read.
Piracy threatens Netflix
In the same section of its K-10 form, Netflix mentions, in particular, competition from piracy. “Piracy also threatens to harm our business because its fundamental proposition to consumers is very compelling and difficult to compete with: virtually all content is free”, writes the SVOD.
In any case, Netflix is in a different situation today compared to a few years ago. Indeed, new factors may push certain Internet users to resort to piracy sites.
First of all, because of the proliferation of streaming services, certain Internet users must subscribe to several platforms at the same time to access all the content they want to watch, or go to pirate sites. And some observers also fear that the end of free Netflix password sharing will push some people towards illegal offers.
But at the same time, Netflix is now more competitive, thanks to its new, cheaper offer which is partially financed by advertising.
- Netflix has always positioned itself as a legal alternative to piracy sites
- And its contribution to reducing the use of piracy sites is indisputable
- Moreover, the number of subscribers, as well as the platform's revenue, is still on the rise
- Nevertheless, SVOD considers that its activity is threatened by illegal offers, on which everything is free
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