venerdì 26 maggio 2017
NEWS - Achtung, compagni! Ecco perché il modello Netflix è più forte dei download illegali e degli hacker (suggerimento: argomento da tesi sul futuro dello streaming)
The Orange Is the New Black hack initially seemed like a very bad thing for Netflix. In late April, a hacker going by the name The Dark Overlord claimed to have illegally obtained several episodes of Orange Is the New Black’s fifth season, which they threatened to release online if Netflix failed to pay a ransom. Netflix didn’t pay, the episodes were released … and nothing really happened. So far, spoilers for Season 5 haven’t consumed the internet prior to its June 9 premiere, though I can say from personal experience it’s a very strong season. If anything, the hack may have boosted the show’s Google Trend results. In short, no one panicked about the Litchfield leak because Netflix has been turning torrenting into an unnecessary and risky way to watch television for years now. Of course, not all of the anti-online piracy applause should be given to Netflix. There are now a staggering amount of streaming services available to users no matter how specific their tastes. However, Netflix was the first company to lead quality television away from traditional time slots and to the internet, and it still remains the king of streaming, having more subscribers and accounting for more internet traffic than any other service. By making high-quality versions of beloved shows and movies available for a relatively low cost, streaming services have been destroying torrenting. BGR’s Yoni Heisler reported on the decline of torrenting, and how Netflix affected this trend, in 2015. According to data compiled by Sandvine, Netflix accounted for 37.05 percent of all internet traffic in North America when measured during peak hours. That 37 percent put Netflix ahead of Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and iTunes when it came to streaming video. However, the most interesting takeaway from this report was its biggest loser — BitTorrent. According to Sandvine, the popular torrenting site’s traffic was down to only 5 percent at this time. That number dropped to 3 percent when Netflix released its Quarter 4 numbers for 2015. Considering that BitTorrent accounted for almost 33 percent of internet traffic in 2008 and 22 percent in 2011, that’s a huge drop. 2016 followed similar trends, according to Sandvine. While Netflix’s hold on internet traffic dipped from 37 percent to 35 percent, BitTorrent stayed at about 5 percent. In short, Hollywood is going the same direction as music industry. Illegally downloaded titles is no longer seen as the industry-ruining threat it used to be. Just like how iTunes helped kill Napster and services like Spotify and Pandora are wounding the same industry they’re helping, legal streaming services are the way of the future, for better or for worse. The industry cost of streaming is a debate for another time. What’s more interesting is how a system that allows users to download free content has gone from a driving force of internet traffic to borderline obsolete. Though there is no monetary exchange involved in illegally downloading shows and movies, there was always a cost to torrenting. Even the most streamlined torrenting process requires a certain level of computer knowledge, and even then, there is always a chance of downloading a virus instead of a copy of Spider-Man 2. That’s an especially big risk during a time when phishing and hacking schemes have become more sophisticated than ever before. Also, if you were able to find a clean copy, there’s always a chance the video or audio may be messed up, and then you have to account for the time it takes to download. That’s all for one movie or one episode of one show. Torrenting, though it was the illegal lifeblood of the internet, was always a detailed and exhausting process. In the wake of this, streaming looks like a godsend. Even the worst designed streaming service is easier to use than BitTorrent, and subscriptions to these services promise users high-quality versions to their favorite shows and movies at the click of a button. There are Reddit, Quora, and Yahoo Answers threads dedicated to wondering why anyone would pay for streaming and put up with Netflix’s revolving library instead of torrenting whatever they want for free. The answer always boils down to people being willing to pay for Netflix’s ease of use. So that brings me back to the leaked season of one of Netflix’s most popular shows. From a cursory search, it’s clear that many fans have decided to download this latest season instead of waiting to June 9. However, the vast majority haven’t, and those who have seem to be treating their experience as being part of the minority. The show’s official Reddit page, which has over 47,000 members, currently has a pinned thread from the moderators, laying down specific rules for the subreddit. Essentially, no one is allowed to ask for links, no one is allowed to discuss Season 5 unless they explicitly mark their thread as pertaining to the leaked season, and no official discussion threads will be allowed until the season’s official release date. This is a corner of the internet devoted to some of Orange Is the New Black’s most devoted and internet savvy fans. These leaks were for them, but this community is still respecting the wishes of the show, Netflix, fans who want to jump in early, and fans who want to wait. Netflix has created a system that’s too good of a deal to encourage mainstream torrenting. Sure, anyone could download Netflix shows for free, but for less than $10 a month, a user (or group of users) could have access to the service’s entire library of content and enjoy premieres along with the rest of the internet. That last part — enjoying the release of a new show over the course of a weekend — is a big draw in this new age of television. Reading tweets about House of Cards during and after your binge is almost as much fun as watching the series itself. The Orange Is the New Black leak didn’t make waves because viewers know if they wait a few weeks, Netflix will offer them something better — fully finished episodes they can watch in high definition along with all their online friends. That’s too good of a deal even for “free” TV to mess with. It’s funny that the thing that’s finally ending online piracy is convenience.