It's fast become the go to site for all things On Demand and as it continues to expand across Europe Netflix has revealed one of its best kept secrets: It sometimes looks to pirate websites when determining which TV shows to pick up for online streaming.
Netflix Vice President of Content Acquisiton Kelly Merryman told Dutch website Tweakers.net that the TV and movie giant does take time to refer to BitTorrent networks and other pirate websites when deciding which shows to buy as it expands across the continent. "With the purchase of series, we look at what does well on piracy sites," Merryman explained, listing Prison Break as just one example. And sure she wasn't the only one to suggest that the pirates end up helping legal providers out in the long run either.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings suggested that illegal downloads weren't necessarily a bad thing for the industry because people who became hooked on the shows may opt for legal streams to avoid having to search for their favourite shows. "Through Netflix, consumers can still get cheap unlimited entertainment online, without the fear of being sued for illegally downloading music and movies," Hastings said. "Netflix is so much easier than torrenting. You don't have to deal with files, you don't have to download them and move them around. You just click and watch."
Take a look at #BreakingBad on Twitter today (we can't say there won't be spoilers mind you) and you'll be hard pushed to disagree with him. If you'd rather watch the latest episode first, you can watch it live right now on Netflix.